Climato-economic imprints on Chinese collectivism

Evert van de Vliert, Huadong Yang, Yongli Wang, Xiao-peng Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


A still unsolved question is why humans create collectivism. A new theory proposes that poorer populations coping with more demanding winters or summers become more collectivist. Preliminary support comes from a province-level analysis of survey data from 1,662 native residents of 15 Chinese provinces. Collectivism is weakest in provinces with temperate climates irrespective of income (e.g., Guangdong), negligibly stronger in higher income provinces with demanding climates (e.g., Hunan), and strongest in lower income provinces with demanding climates (e.g., Heilongjiang). Multilevel analysis consolidates the results by demonstrating that collectivism at the provincial level fully mediates the interactive impact of climato-economic hardships on collectivist orientations at the individual level, suggesting that culture building is a collective top-down rather than bottom-up process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-605
JournalJournal of cross-cultural psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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