Measuring individualism and collectivism: The importance of considering differential components, reference groups, and measurement invariance

Fang Fang Chen, Stephen West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

A new instrument of individualism and collectivism (I/C) was developed and three key issues in I/C measurement were addressed: differentiating components of I/C, understanding the impact of reference groups, and testing of measurement invariance. Three components of I/C were assessed in China and the U.S.: independence, competitiveness, and uniqueness for individualism; considering of one's decisions on others, sharing of positive outcomes, and sharing of negative outcomes for collectivism. Collectivism was measured with respect to parents, friends, and general others. Results indicate that Chinese participants are less unique but more independent and competitive than their counterparts in the U.S. The expected cultural difference is found for parent collectivism across all three components and for sharing negative outcome with respect to all three reference groups. These results suggest that individualism is a multidimensional construct, whereas the dimensionality of collectivism appears to be a function of social distance. Measurement invariance was tested at configural, factor loading, and intercept levels for all components of I/C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-294
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008

Keywords

  • Cultural differences
  • Measurement invariance
  • Measurement of individualism and collectivism
  • Multi-group confirmatory factor analysis
  • Relational groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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