Ch. 17 The ME/WE balance
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What is collectivism?
a perspective in which the needs of the group are placed above the needs of the individual (core emphases on dependence, conformity, the desire to fit in, and the group as the fundamental unit of analysis)
What is individualism?
a perspective in which the needs of the individual are placed above the needs of the group (cofre emphases on independence, uniqueness, and the individual as the fundamental unit of analysis)
What is the need for uniqueness?
the pursuit of individualistic goals to produce a sense of specialness
What is pluralistic ignorance?
the mistaken notion that one's beliefs are nonconforming
What historical factors contributed to the Western value of individualism?
the american emphases on equal rights and freedom as well as to its capitalistic economy and open frontiers
What are the core and secondary emphases of individualism?
- core: independence, desire to stand out, and the use of the self or the individual as the unit of analysis in thinking about life
- secondary: goals and success for self, satisfaction from self, personal payoff, cost/benefit analysis, spontaneity, short-term thinking, and informal interactions
How is race/ethnicity related to the levels of individualism and collectivism among individuals living in the United States?
based on your race/ethnic background determines what society your family comes from and what they bring to the U.S. with them. this contributes to how individualistic or collectivistic a person is.
What is the need for uniqueness and how is it measured?
we all desire to have some quality about us that helps us stick out from the rest. This desire is measured through the comparison between a persons similarity to other people and their acceptability encoding
What are the key attributes of uniqueness? Does the research tend to support each of these attributes?
- attitudes and beliefs
How is the perceived similarity to others related to emotional experience and behavior?
- people have highest positive emotional experiences when they perceive that they have a relatively moderate to high degree of similarity
- people are behaviorally drawn to moderate to high levels of perceived similarity to their fellow humans but there are upper limits to this desire for the human bond
What historical factors supported the development of collectivistic values?
the hunter-gatherer ancestors realized the survival advantages of banding together into groups with shared goals and interests (groups offered power to their members)
What are the core and secondary emphases of collectivism?
- core: dependence, conformity/desire to fit in, groups are the unit of analysis
- secondary: goals and success for group, satisfaction depends on harmony, mutual generosity and equity, unconditional relatedness, duties, long-term thinking, and formal interactions
How are age and SES related to collectivism?
those in lower SES conditions and older age tend to relate in a more collectivistic fashion
Why is it important to NOT view individualism and collectivism as polar opposites? What does the research say?
- polarity is not good science or productive when interacting with others from various cultures
- research mentions that even though americans have high individualism they are not extinct on collectivism
What are the authors’ suggestions for enhancing understanding and communication among individuals who may differ in level of individualistic and collectivistic focus interpersonally?
- collectivists: individualists see their status as based on their personal accomplishments rather than on their memberships in groups (collectivist should not be shocked when individualists do not seem impressed with group successes, use recent accomplishments to attain status in the eyes of individualists)
- individualists: must realize that collectivists derive their sense of status from their group memberships and not from their personal accomplishments (provide respect and patience when interacting with collectivists)
What are some suggestions of ways to help cultivate the ME/WE balance?
shared moral guidelines
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