In the last few decades, there has been increased interest in the examination of culturaldifferences in the self and other aspects of personality. It is difficult to conduct cross-culturalstudies for a variety of reasons, in part because of the various ways that culture can berepresented. Many cross-cultural researchers have operationalized culture by focusing on thecultural-level distinction between individualism and collectivism (Markus & Kitayama, 1991;Oyserman, Coon, & Kemmelmeier, 2002; Singelis, Triandis, Bhawuk, & Gelfand, 1995). At theindividual level, the associated concepts of independent and interdependent self-construals havebeen emphasized. Individualism-collectivism constructs has been widely used as a theoreticalframework for understanding cultural differences in cognition, emotion, motivation, andbehavior (Markus & Kitayama, 1991).
In addition, individualism and collectivism have beenassociated with a number of important psychological variables, including self-esteem, wellbeing,communication styles, social explanation processes, and social behavior (Oyserman et al.,2002). Thus, it is important to clarify the structure and content of the individualism-collectivismor self-construal domains and how best to measure these constructs.
The measurement of individualistic and collectivistic constructs has been very difficult,and while there are approximately 20 different methods, none has proven satisfactory(Ka?itçibasi, 1997; Oyserman et al., 2002). In particular, the Self-Construal Scale (SCS) hasbeen widely used in cross-cultural studies. However, the results from some of these studies havebeen inconsistent. An evaluation of the reliability and validity of the scale can provideinformation on the suitability of the scale to assess the intended constructs of independent andinterdependent self-construals.
The primary goal of this study is to evaluate the reliability and2dimensionality of the SCS across cultures. Most researchers have relied on Singelis’s (1994)dominant two-factor model in explaining independent and interdependent self-construals andhave not examined alternate models. Other researchers, however, have argued that thetheoretical structure of individualism-collectivism can be best explained with three or morecomponents.
Therefore, I plan to evaluate the factor structure of the original two-factor modeland compare it to alternative models. Another purpose of the study is to evaluate the SCS incultures that go beyond the United States and East Asian countries in which the instrument hasbeen applied most frequently.