ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (10): 1551-1555.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.01551

• Research Reports • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The difference of collectivism between north and south China and its cultural dynamics

MA Xinran1,2; REN Xiaopeng1; XU Jiang1,2   

  1. (1 Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China) (2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China)
  • Received:2015-12-07 Online:2016-10-15 Published:2016-10-15
  • Contact: REN Xiaopeng, E-mail:


It has been found that collectivism differs across provinces within China. Nevertheless there’s still no consensus on its underlying mechanism. We propose that the strength of Confucianism is the main reason behind differences in collectivism across China i.e. central Confucian places tend to be more collectivistic than other places. We tested 745 Han Chinese participants from 27 provinces and found that southerners tend to be more collectivistic compared to northerners on loyalty/nepotism task. These results stand in support of the strength of Confucianism hypothesis arguing that south China had replaced north China as the center of Confucianism since Song dynasty due to the relocation of Central-Plains culture from north China to south China.

Key words: collectivism, north and south China, loyalty/nepotism task, strength of Confucianism hypothesis, Central-Plains culture