Individualism (Psychology)

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  • An ideology that emphasizes a person's personal needs, goals, and desires over those of the community or group. In individualism, a person's identity is determined by personal goals instead of group goals. Individualism stands in contrast to collectivism, which emphasizes group goals over personal goals. In a culture that emphasizes individualism, children are reared to be independent and self-reliant. Roughly, North American and European cultures tend to emphasize individualism, while Asian, African, and Middle and South American cultures tend to emphasize collectivism (Triandis, 1989). Whether a culture emphasizes individualism or collectivism has direct consequences on behavior. For example, individualistic cultures may be more prone to the fundamental attribution error, as well as the self-serving bias. That is, in individualistic cultures, people often attribute their own ...

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