Personality and Culture


  • Individualistic cultures place great emphasis on individual needs and accomplishments
  • Collectivist cultures are concerned about group belongingness and group needs.
  • Concepts that are studied by Western personality psychologists can take on very different meanings when people from collectivist cultures are studied. For example, the Western notion of self-esteem is based on assumptions of personal goals and feeling of uniqueness that may not be appropriate to people in collectivist, group-oriented cultures.
  • Similarly, the Western definition of achievement and success is not universal. In collectivist cultures success means cooperation and groups accomplishments.

The study of personality: Theory, Application, Assessment, and Research

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  • Theory: each approach to understanding personality begins with a theory. The theory is an attempt to explain the mechanisms that underlie human personality and how these mechanisms are responsible for creating behaviors unique to a given individual. Also each theory attempts to emphasize a different aspect of personality, each theory must wrestle with several issues relating to the nature of human personality.

Issues along which the theories differ


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