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Adolescents’ Individualism & Collectivism: Research on External and Implicit Characters

Author: HuangRenZhi
Tutor: YaoShuQiao
School: Central South University
Course: Applied Psychology
Keywords: individualism collectivism socially cultural orient-tations implicit association test(IAT) primary effects
CLC: C913.5
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2008
Downloads: 894
Quote: 9
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Objective:(1)To investigate the external characteristic of socially cultural orientations on individualism-collectivism and developmental subjective perception on four cultural dimensions among the adolescents; (2)To explore the difference on self, attribution, subjective well-being and family relationships among Chinese adolescents with different socially cultural orientations; (3)To probe into the implicit characteristic of socially cultural orientations on individualism-collectivism among the adolescents and determine whether there is a cultural priming effect.Method:(1)The series of questionnaires was translated from English into Chinese and back-translated, and the reliabilities and vadilities were also calculated to make sure the Chinese versions were appropriate for the investigation; (2) 989 subjects with different age and gender were investigated with the series of questionnaires such as the Individualism & Collectivism Scale, Aspirations Index, Self-Construal Scale , and Attributing Style Sacle to explore the external characteristic of socially cultural tendencies on individualism-collectivism among Chinese adolescents; (3) Research on implicit characteristics were inloved with 3 experiments: 90 Changsha undergraduates took part in Experiment 1 and finished the Individualism & Collectivism Scale, Social Judgment Task and Self -Construal Scale; 37 Changsha undergr- aduates and 22 Canadian undergraduates joined in Experiment 2 and finished the Individualism & Collectivism Scale and Self Conception Scale; 17 undergraduates who scored high on the subscale of collectivism took part in Experiment 3 and carried out an implicit association test, in which the words related to sensibility and socially culture served as stimulators. Result: (1)The mean scores of the subscale of vertical collectivism for female and male adolescents were 5.41 and 5.50 respectively, and female adolescent were statistically lower than male adolescents( p<0.05). An age effect existed on two subscales of collectivism, that is, with age increasing and the mean scores increasing accordingly. (2)Individualism was positively related with independent self conception and the intrinsic goals while negatively related with dependent self-conception and extrinsic goals, and vice-versa with collectivism. The relationships were all statistically significant (ps<0.01). On the subscale of independent self conception and intrinsic goal, the participant group with an individualistic tendency scored higher statistically than that with a collective tendency, whereas on the subscale of dependent self conception and extrinsic goals, the participant group with a collective tendency scored higher statistically than that with an individualistic tendency(ps<0.05~0.01). As for attribution, the adoles- cents with an individualistic tendency scored evidently higher on 3 dimensions of positive and negative events than their counterparts with a collective orientations, and were biased towards attributing all things to inner, stable causes affecting every aspect of the their lives. With regard to subjective well-being, Chinese adolescents overall scored low; socially cultural tendencies (whose effect was the biggest) and income were both important influencing factors. As far as family relationships were concerned, adolescents with an individualistic tendency scored higher on the dimensions of autonomy and conflict than their counterparts with a collective orientations, while their counterparts with a collective tendency scored observably higher on the dimensions of harmony and Asian values(ps<0.05-0.00). (3)From Experiment I, we found that under the independent priming condition, the independent self conception of the participants increased, yet the dependent self conception dropped(t= 17.21, p<0.05).The mean scores on the subscales of individualism and collectivism were statistically different (t=29.47, p<0.001),at the same time, under the dependent priming condition, there were no evident differences of mean scores on the Self Conception and the Individualism & Collectivism scale. On the social tasks, compared with the independent priming group, the dependent priming group thought Lisa’ s behaviors were not friendly and she should take more responsibility and be punished for her behaviors. From Experiment II, we found that the type of cultural environment (individualistic culture or collectivistic culture) was an important factor which could affect self conception, individualism and collectivism as well. From Experiment III, we found that under the "me" priming condition, participants responded faster to the positive affect words than the negative affect words (Ms=841.27, 858.34, t=8.942, p<0.001), however under the "non-me" priming condition, the mean responding times were not markedly different between the positive and negative affect words(Ms=850.18, 849.74, t = -1.362,p>0.05). Under the distinct priming conditions, there was no difference between the individualistic and collectivistic words among the participants, and the cultural priming effect was not evident.Conclusion: (1) There was age effect on the four subscales of the Individualism & Collectivism Scale among Chinese adolescents. (2) The four psychological functions of self, attribution, subjective well-being . and family relationships were greatly statistically different among the adolescents with different socially cultural tendencies and they represented definitively different characteristics. (3)Under the independent priming condition, it was easy to create a priming effect, which showed that the independent self conception was easier to evoke under the instant condition. The factor of culture (cultural surroundings) could also create a priming effect and was an important and influential factor as well as the priming conditions.

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CLC: > Social Sciences > Sociology > Social life and social issues > Youth problems
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