ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (8): 1309-1318.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.01309

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The influencing factors of individualism/collectivism: A perspective of ecology

XU Jiang1,2; REN Xiaopeng1; SU Hong1,2   

  1. (1 Key Laboratory of Behavior Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China) (2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China)
  • Received:2015-08-04 Online:2016-08-15 Published:2016-08-15
  • Contact: REN Xiaopeng, E-mail:


Cultural construct of individualism/collectivism is particularly relevant cultural dimension. The value orientations of individualism and collectivism are poles apart. Individualism focuses on the self-distinctiveness, while collectivism focuses on the interpersonal relationships. So far many new theories have been proposed in order to explain the factors that influenced individualism/collectivism. There are four representative theories among those: modernization theory, pathogen prevalence theory, rice theory and climate - economic theory. The latter three theories are relatively new theories put forward in recent years, and they discuss the causes of individualism/collectivism from the perspective of distal factor. They provide a new way of thinking for researchers investigating the origins of individualism/collectivism. Future research should integrate different approaches to measure individualism/collectivism and/ or explore the influence factors of individualism/collectivism from the gene’s perspective.

Key words: Key Words, individualism/collectivism, modernization theory, pathogen prevalence theory, rice theory, climate-economic theory