Journal article

Culture, essentialism, and agency: Are individuals universally believed to be more real entities than groups?

Y Kashima, E Kashima, CY Chiu, T Farsides, M Gelfand, YY Hong, U Kim, F Strack, L Werth, M Yuki, V Yzerbyt

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY | WILEY | Published : 2005

Abstract

Are human individuals universally seen to be more real entities (or more entitative, to use Campbell's, 1958, term) than social groups? Although the individual may be seen to be more entitative than social groups in the West, it is unclear whether this is the case in other cultures, especially in East Asia. Two aspects of perceived entitativity are distinguished: psychological essentialism (belief in the presence of essence-like unchangeable properties) and agency (perception that a social entity is an agent), and examined for four social targets (individual, family, friendship group, and society) in three English-speaking cultures (Australia, UK, and USA), three East Asian cultures (Hong Ko..

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