Varieties of interdependence and the emergence of the Modern West: Toward the globalizing of psychology.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

Cultural psychology-the research field focusing on the mutual constitution of culture and the mind-has made great strides by documenting robust cultural variations in how people think, feel, and act. The cumulative evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that Westerners are independent, whereas those in the rest of the world are interdependent. Although this research traditionally examined North Americans and East Asians, recent research has extended this literature to other non-Western regions. We review this emerging research and describe four distinct forms of interdependence in four non-Western cultural zones. Specifically, interdependence is promoted through (a) conflict avoidance (dominant in much of East Asia), (b) self-assertion for ingroup protection (dominant in Arab regions), (c) expression of emotions that promote interpersonal resonance (dominant in Latin America), and (d) argumentation for conflict resolution (dominant in South Asia). Furthermore, we propose that the Modern West adopted the existing signature features of interdependence in the neighboring cultural zones (notably, self-assertion, emotional expression, and argumentation) and redefined the psychological function and social meaning of these features; instead of promoting interdependence, they became means to achieve independence. This theoretical integration suggests that cultural variation in basic psychological processes emerged over the last several 1,000 years under the influence of ecology, migration, and intergroup relations. The current effort underscores the need to globalize psychological science. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kitayama, S; Salvador, CE; Nanakdewa, K; Rossmaier, A; San Martin, A; Savani, K

Published Date

  • December 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 77 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 991 - 1006

PubMed ID

  • 36595393

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1935-990X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-066X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/amp0001073


  • eng