Successful or Friendly? Inferring Achievement and Relational Competence from Individualist and Collectivist Attitudes


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Abstract

Two experiments investigated to what extent different types of individualist and collectivist attitudes are perceived as leading to achievement and relational competence. In Study 1, the degree of unique (horizontal individualism) and competitive (vertical individualism) attitudes of a fictitious target person were manipulated, whereas in Study 2 interdependent (horizontal collectivism) and group-dependent (vertical collectivism) attitudes were varied. The results showed that both horizontal individualism and collectivism were perceived as leading to achievement and relational competence. In turn, vertical individualism led to achievement, whereas vertical collectivism was perceived as inducing only modest relational competence and achievement. Overall, the findings demonstrate that horizontal attitudes were considered functional for a wider range of social outcomes than vertical attitudes.

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