For instance, Triandis (1989) notes, ” on this point, Triandis indicates that “the more complex the culture, the more frequent the sampling of the public and private self and the less frequent the sampling of the collective self. The more individualistic the culture, the more frequent the sampling of the private self and the less frequent the sampling of the collective self.” (Triandis, p. 506)
Two Empirical Studies:
Triandis casts this theoretical model into his own empirical study, investigating what he refers to as three cultural dimensions as they are impacted by subjective cultural impetuses. Here, Triandis evaluates the consequences of socialization through environment, child-rearing patterns and cultural patterns through the dimensions of individualism-collectivism, tightness-looseness and cultural complexity. (p. 506) These comprise what Triandis argues are the main effectors of individual behavior, such that we may be able to predict tendencies in child rearing, for example, based on where a specific culture falls on the spectrum between individualism and collectivism or tightness and looseness. The 1989 study by Triandis would investigate the links between these consequences and the nature of sampling of aspects of the self engaged by individuals and groups within the selected culture.
Another empirical study on the subject, by Lee (2000), would specify the Triandis model to modern consumer culture. This would serve as a concrete context for a study intended upon understanding individual and collective behaviors as impacted by a specific cultural time and place. The Lee study takes on a particularly complex element of the Triandis theory though, given the nature of globalization today. Here, the sweeping impact of a supposed global economy and global community is calling into question the persistence of certain subjective cultural distinctions.
The Lee article essentially makes the case that some level of understanding of cultural differences as a function of subjective cultural sampling among individuals is necessary to accommodate the ambitions of a global market. According, Lee argues that “it is the social processes that vary from culture to culture and require the adaptation of marketing technology. It follows that the investigation of important cultural dimensions and their effect on consumer behavior should precede decisions on the standardization of marketing programs. ” (p. 117) This denotes that Triandis contributes a valuable watchword to those expanding into a global economy, that marketing must respect behavioral variances as they relate to such cultural dimensions as individualism v. collectivism.
This denotes a particular relevance of the theory to the cultural challenges that have become increasingly relevant to our economic and our way of life. With the proliferation of communication and information technologies, the removal of regulatory restrictions and the wholesale professional adoption of outsourcing strategies, cultures and societies are becoming more interdependent. Triandis lends a firm basis to our understanding the patterns that are likely to unfold hereafter.
Even as cultures and societies change, integrate and conflict with one another, Triandis provides a model with consistent merit in understanding patterns relating both to individual and collective behaviors.
Lee, J.A. (2000). Adapting Triandiss Model of Subjective Culture and Social Behavior Relations to Consumer Behavior. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 9(2), 117-126.
Triandis, H.C. (1989). The Self and Social Behavior in Differing Cultural Contexts. Psychological Review, 96(3), 506-520.
Triandis1, H.C. (1994). Culture and Social Behavior, McGraw-Hill Humanities.