Culture-specific approach to the study of individualism/ collectivism
Journal/Book: Eur J Soc Psychol. 1996; 26: Baffins Lane, Chichester, W Sussex, England PO19 1UD. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 277-297.
Abstract: Studies in individualism/collectivism (Triandis, McCusker & Hui, 1990) have revealed a considerable cultural connotation of the phenomena. The aim of our investigation war; to develop a cross-culturally equivalent psychometric instrument for measuring individualistic versus collectivistic orientation on the basis of the shared representation of individualism/collectivism among Bulgarians. By applying the psychosemantic methodology we extracted seven concepts which form the individualism/collectivism dimension. The proposed instrument, labelled Bulgarian individualism/collectivism (BIC) scale, consists of a preference choice between the two words in every possible pair of the seven words. Validation studies included investigation of the relationship between the BIC scale and value orientation, between the BIC scale and general views of society and political preferences, and between the BIC scale and behavioural intentions such as the intention to start a business of one's own, the intention to emigrate, and the choice of professional vocation. Results were compared with the relationship of these variables to other measures of individualism/collectivism (scales of Triandis and Brown). The results suggest that the BIC scale reveals a more global orientation, whereas the other scales are concerned with specific everyday behaviours. A comparison between Bulgarian and American samples revealed some specificity in the Bulgarian social representation of individualism/collectivism, which can be explained by the extremely collectivistic norms of the former communist society in Bulgaria.
Note: Article KG Petkova, Bulgarian Acad Sci, Inst Sociol, 13-A Moskovska St, BU-1000 Sofia, Bulgaria