Relational Versus Group Collectivism and Optimal Distinctiveness in a Consumption Context

There has been ample criticism of the individualism – collectivism distinction in both consumer and cross-cultural psychology. Recent research (Brewer & Chen, 2007) for instance has argued that there is a conceptual confusion about the meaning of ingroups that constitute the target of collectivism. Whereas all societies must meet primary needs for both individual and social identity, it is argued that individuals from Easterner societies define their collective identity in form of a depersonalized social category (group collectivism) while Westerners rely on a network of interpersonal relationships (relational collectivism). We tested this new framework in a consumer context. In two experimental studies we provide empirical evidence that Easterners make consumption choices that satisfy belongingness through relational collectivism whereas Westerners prefer aspects of group collectivism.


Robert Kreuzbauer, Chi-yue Chiu, and Shengdong Lin (2009) ,"Relational Versus Group Collectivism and Optimal Distinctiveness in a Consumption Context", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 742-742.


Robert Kreuzbauer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Chi-yue Chiu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Shengdong Lin, Sun Yat-Sen University, China


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36 | 2009

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Q2. Why do Kids Love Watching Unboxing Videos? Understanding The Motivations of Children to Consume Unboxing Toy Videos

Teresa Trevino, Universidad de Monterrey
Mariela Coronel, UDEM
Valeria Martínez, UDEM
Ivanna Martínez, UDEM
Daniela Kuri, UDEM

Read More


On Politics, Morality, and Consumer Response to Negative Publicity

Chethana Achar, University of Washington, USA
Nidhi Agrawal, University of Washington, USA

Read More


When High-End Designers Partner With Low-Cost Retailers: Bridging the Access Gap

Gabriel E. Gonzales, Pennsylvania State University, USA
Johanna Slot, Pennsylvania State University, USA
Margaret Meloy, Pennsylvania State University, USA

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.