Two views of "individualism" and their implications for social relationships are explored. One view holds that individualism is destructive to an individual and social interactions in general. The other view maintains that the kind of individualism criticized in the psychological literature is of a Hobbesian type and incompatible with true, ethical individualism. The relationship of this latter type of individualism to social interactions is explored in the context of interpersonal conflict. Ethical individualists should exhibit more integrative strategies and reduction tactics in conflictual situations.
For many people, "individualism" and "interdependence" are as causally independent of another as "individualism" and "conflict" are causally connected. The former pair are viewed as antithetical to one another while in the case of the latter pair, conflict is a logically inevitable consequence of individualists (vainly) seeking to coexist peacefully in a social environment. If one goal of (successful) communication is to promote smooth interactions among dyads, groups, and/or larger social units, then given this characterization of "individualism," the social unit (of whatever size chosen) should be promoted as preeminent and superior to the individual in guiding social and communicative choices.
This paper will trace the arguments of the two major views of what the concept "individualism" means and how it is (and/or should be) related to social interactions. Since the "anti-individualism" camp argues that individualism leads unavoidably to conflict, it is in this arena that the differing views will be examined. The question to be addressed is, "Does a strong identification of and concern for one's self-interests automatically preclude a strong identification of and concern for the interests of others with whom one interacts?" In a non-conflictual interaction, evidence for the "pro-individualist" side might arguably be understood as simply an artifact of a situation where the individualist simply has nothing at stake, that is, since his/her "self-interest" is not being challenged in such a context, such a person would have no reason not to engage in behavior which might be interpreted as "pro-social. But as Canary and Cupach (1988) state, "...conflict tests the character of relationships more rigorously than does any other type of communication" (p. 305). It is in a conflict situation that an individualist will find her/his self-interest directly challenged by another person. According to the "anti-individualist" view, in a conflict situation the individualist must -- as a matter of definition -- subordinate the interests of the other to self across all relationships. According to the "pro-individualist" view, the individualist will be more likely (depending upon the relationship in question) to consider the interests of other as well as of self in approaching conflict. The communicative behaviors exhibited in conflictual situations should, then, provide evidence for which (if either) is the correct way to view the concept of "individualism" and its value as a factor in determining successful social and communicative transactions.
The study of individual differences has a long history in psychology and has become a mainstay of communication research, as well. This emphasis on the individual has, however, been criticized for promoting an erroneous view of humans which ignores the more important notion of people as "social animals." Gergen (1973) suggests that the very terminology used in describing people helps to perpetuate false value preferences, e.g., the use of "high self-esteem" rather than "egotism" or "internal control" rather than "egocentricity." Sampson (1978) and Wallach and Wallach (1983) argue that such an orientation in the social sciences perpetuates a view of people which is destructive of social interdependence and relationships. Such psychological approaches as offered by Maslow, Rogers, Branden, and Kohlberg are believed to encourage -- to the detriment of society -- such individualistic ideals.
According to Waterman (1981), the critics of individualism usually offer three common themes: 1) that individualism results in unscrupulous competition, 2) that it means one should be a self-contained and self-sufficient person, and 3) that it must result in alienation from self and society (see also, Bochner, 1985). The contention is that people who hold to such an ideal become isolated and have to deal with the "burden of personal responsibility for success and their psychological well-being" (Dion & Dion, 1988, p. 282). Dion and Dion (1988) believe that there is a necessary dichotomy between individualism and social interdependence, and that self-contained individualism does not exist and cannot be attained.
"Individualism" is seen by some researchers as a cultural aberration which is incompatible with fully satisfying interpersonal relationships. Bellah, Madsen, Swidler, and Tipton (1985) identify two types of individualism in America: 1) "utilitarian individualism" which is concerned with the public arena and economics, and 2) "expressive individualism" which deals with the private realm of self realization and growth. In the latter domain, romantic love is the epitome of expressive individualism in which expression of individuality and personal growth are supposed to be best achieved. Yet the authors see this ideal of individuality as conflicting with traditional views of what love is. Adhering to such an ideal can only lead to unsatisfying relationships.
Cultural differences in the emphasis on "individualism" versus "collectivism" can, in general, influence the way in which people view social relationships (Dion & Dion, 1988; Gudykunst, 1987). In this context, individualism-collectivism represents one dimension of values which can be used to distinguish various societies. Collectivist cultures emphasize the value of the group or society over the individual, e.g., China. In contrast, individualist cultures such as the United States see the individual as the primary entity of value with groups outside of the family assuming secondary importance. The Western emphasis on the individual holds that emotions are important in relationships while Eastern societies are more concerned with roles than any notion of an intrinsic self. Eastern cultures consequently place little importance on the experience of romantic love.
Echoing other researchers (e.g., Bellah et. al, 1985; Branden, 1980), Dion and Dion (1988) believe that the most important arena in which to explore the relationship between individualism and interdependence is that of romantic love. In such a relationship, people typically share the most aspects of self -- physically, emotionally, and intellectually -- and make their selves the most vulnerable to exploitation by a partner (Kelvin, 1977). It is in such an intimate setting that conflict should pose its greatest threat to one's self. Dion and Dion (1988) report that their studies link the "individualist" with relationships having "a more rational, calculated quality" (p. 284). Such people had "more frequent love experiences and derived greater personal satisfaction and enjoyment from their relationships" (p. 284). Those low on this trait, however, "were fonder of their partners, esteemed them more highly, and had a stronger love for them" (p. 285).
They also note ambivalent results from equity research in regard to love relationships. (Adherence to an equity principle is seen as an indication of American individualism.) Some researchers have found greater sexual satisfaction and less extramarital sex in couples committed to equity. Others have indicated that such couples evidence less love and trust for their partners.
From this perspective, individualism creates barriers to intimacy and healthy relationships (Bellah et al., 1985; Dion & Dion, 1988; McAdams, 1989; Sampson, 1977). It is difficult to reconcile individualism with the ideals regarding romantic love, i.e., "losing" oneself in the relationship versus maintaining autonomy; balancing the needs for autonomy of two people in a relationship; justifying sacrifice or inequity in a relationship; and dealing with individuality and freedom as well as role requirements and obligations. Dion and Dion (1988) blame the high American divorce rate on this cultural ideal of individualism. McAdams (1989) feels that such values exact too heavy a price on commitment to communal organizations which are concerned primarily with "the common good."
Waterman (1981, 1984), however, contends that unscrupulous competition, self-containment, and alienation are not the causal results of adhering to the kind of individualistic approaches advocated by such psychologists as Maslow, Rogers, Branden, and Kohlberg. He believes that these approaches to normative or ethical individualism (or egoism) share four features: 1) eudaimonism or being true to one's self (as in Maslow's theory of self-actualization, Maslow, 1970), 2) freedom of choice within the contraints of the like freedom of others (abandoning coercive contraints), 3) personal responsibility which accompanies a sense of being a causally effective agent (and which arises from one's freedom to choose), and 4) universality, which involves respect for the integrity of others (denying the rights of others would implicitly endorse the idea that oneself did not possess such rights).
Waterman notes that normative individualism promotes social welfare by encouraging the creative work of individuals from which others can then benefit; by promoting trust which he believes arises, 1) when people have high self-esteem, 2) when social activity is voluntary and not coerced, 3) when one can choose one's social partners, and 4) when one perceives that the benefits of social interaction will be equitably distributed; and by providing incentives for voluntary cooperation.
While Dion and Dion (1988) see the equity principle as operating in the realm of external rewards, Waterman points out that non-material rewards can be even more important in a relationship, e.g., gaining personal pleasure from seeing a loved one succeed (cf. Branden, 1980, 1983). In contrast to the critics of individualism, its defenders realize that the "selfish" values of friendship and romantic love can only be obtained by a coordination of goals and needs and mutual interdependence and sharing. A rational individualist would realize that the very value he or she wants to obtain requires such behavior. In addition, self-knowledge and self-respect are usually recognized as necessary for healthy friendships and love relationships (Branden, 1980, 1983; Maslow, 1970; Waterman, 1981, 1984).
Along this same line, pursuing self-interest does not mean that one ignores the values or needs of one's partner. In a close and intimate relationship, "the interests of one's partner become integrated with one's self-interest" (Waterman, 1981, p. 768). To ignore the interests of the partner would be self-defeating; an ethical individualist would realize that maintaining a close relationship requires certain actions. To believe one could obtain and/or keep such a value without engaging in the behavior necessary to do so would be trying to "have one's cake and eat it, too." Such a course cannot succeed and would result in the loss of the very value one desires; hardly the way to achieve one's self-interest (Branden, 1983; Machan, 1989; Rand, 1964). Indeed, one's concept of self-interest expands to include the happiness and self-interest of one's partner.
The arguments between the two camps regarding the value and nature of individualism is reminiscent of those regarding the value and nature of romantic love. The value choices one makes will, to a large extent, determine which avenue is followed. While both camps acknowledge that alienation, self-containment, and unbridled competition are destructive to relationships, they diverge widely as to the relationship between these phenomena and individualism. Anti-individualists see these negative results as following from adherence to individualism; pro-individualists maintain that negative social consequences are caused by a failure to adhere to the principles of true individualism (as opposed to the Hobbesian or Nietzschian view).
For example, Branden (1980, 1983) examines one aspect of individualism -- autonomy -- in terms of achieving separation and individuation during the maturational process. Failure to achieve sufficient autonomy can prove a block to achieving a mature relationship. He sees individuation as accepting responsibility for self; as a life-long task of expressing self through one's work and relationships. Autonomy (which includes self-direction, -regulation, -trust, -reliance, -assertion) is opposed to conformity and self-repudiation. Mature relationships are those in which others perceive one's values but do not create them. Autonomous individuals recognize their partners' needs for freedom and their own lives (cf. Maslow, 1970).
Autonomy is, therefore, not absolute self-sufficiency but a person's capacity for independent survival, thinking, and judgment. For an autonomous person, the primary source of self-approval is internal rather than social. A mature relationship requires achieving autonomy in the realms of the sexual, emotional, cognitive, and moral. Branden also contrasts individualism and altruism in relationships. Individualism fosters self-responsibility and the recognition that we do not exist first to satisfy the wants and needs of others nor they to satisfy ours. (By this, Branden means that such people do not treat others primarily as depersonalized means to some idiosyncratic end; an individualist recognizes that others have goals of their own which must be acknowledged and not arbitrarily subordinated to one's own goals.) Altruism, however -- as understood in its true, philosophical meaning and not as a synonym for compassion -- promotes self-surrender, self-sacrifice, and selflessness and is inconsistent with the concepts of justice or equity in relationships.
Vaughan (1986) looks at one of the most serious consequences of interpersonal conflict, i.e., relationship dissolution, in terms of the accounts which people offer of them. She sees the process as one of redefining the self, the other, and the relationship. In order to try to resolve such conflicts before the spiral of negative redefinition of other and relationship has progressed too far, she advocates direct confrontation in dealing with serious problems. This technique is difficult, however, since to achieve such a goal requires the ability to assert one's needs and accept self-responsibility, both of which are characteristic of autonomous individuals, a condition of self not easily reached or maintained (cf., Miller, Wackman, Nunnally, & Saline, 1982)
In examining various therapeutic approaches to dysfunctional relationships, Christensen (1983) lends support to the conclusions of Vaughan (1986) and Miller et al. (1982). His findings indicate that despite considerable differences, all of the clinical theories which he considered encourage individual autonomy by helping the clients to focus on individual needs and desires. The importance of direct communication and speaking for self rather than others is emphasized in such approaches as is the importance placed on individual responsibility.
Reflective of these therapeutic findings, Fitzpatrick (1987) offers a classification of marriage in terms of traditional, independent, and separate types. People who operate from an independent marital schemata are generally liberal, exhibit moderate interdependence, and engage in habituated conflict with spouses. Using Fitzpatrick's typology, Burggraf and Sillars (1987) examined conflict styles and found that independents are analytic and expressive in dealing with conflict and dislike avoidant acts by the partner. They also tend to rank more highly on sharing, autonomy, and assertiveness. (It is, however, perhaps reflective of the conceptual disagreement in social sciences discussed in the present paper that Burggraf and Sillars consider "individualistic acts" as negative confrontational behaviors characterized by hostility, threats, avoidance of responsibility, and rejection of the partner.)
Scarf (1987) considers the need for autonomy and the need for intimacy and how they sometimes come into conflict in romantic relationships. She concludes that the most successful marriages are those in which individuals have come to realize that there is no necessary dichotomy between autonomy and intimacy. Such couples are able to integrate the needs of the relationship with those of the individual partners.
Consonant with this conclusion is the work of Baxter (1988) who approaches relationship development from a dialectical perspective and considers the autonomy-connection dialectic to be the central one in relational growth. One type of integrative strategy which she identifies -- integrative reframing -- occurs when dyadic partners redefine autonomy and connection in such a fashion that they are no longer viewed in a dichotomous fashion. A mature relationship occurs when autonomy and connection "become functionally reinforcing of one another" (p. 267).
An integrative conflict strategy (Canary & Cupach, 1988) in which there is a mutual orientation between partners has been found to correlate positively with intimacy, communication strategy, relational satisfaction, and conflict outcome satisfaction. The same process seems operative here as that described by Scarf (1987) and Baxter (1988).
These kinds of results are supportive of the type of ethical individualism which has been discussed in this paper. Waterman (1984) compared the results of 574 tests of the 4 aspects of individualism which he has identified: 1) a sense of personal identity, 2) self-actualization, 3) an internal locus of control, and 4) principled moral reasoning. He looked at the impact of these traits on personal well-being, competence, and social interdependence (considered in terms of social attitudes, cooperation and helping, and friendship and love) and offered 10 hypotheses regarding the value of individualism in promoting the health of the individual and his/her relationships. Significant positive results were found in 320 instances; null results in 247 tests, and significant negative results in 7 cases. The primary difficulty in this analysis was that Waterman sees individualism as a combination of the 4 identified traits, yet the research he studied generally considered the traits in isolation. He recommends further research in which subjects are tested for all 4 components together and then ranked high, average, or low to see how these combined scores correlate with the desired outcomes.
Still, given the conceptualization of ethical individualism offered above along with the findings regarding social interdependence of such individualists, one can offer some hypotheses regarding the type of communication which can be expected of those high in ethical individualism in conflict situations.
H1: When in conflict with close others, an individual high in ethical individualism will exhibit an integrative style more often than those low in ethical individualism.
H2: When in conflict with close others, an individual high in ethical individualism will engage in reduction tactics more often than those low in ethical individualism.
H3: Across relationship types, when in conflict with others, an individual high in ethical individualism will exhibit an integrative style more often than those low in ethical individualism.
H4: Across relationship types, when in conflict with others, an individual high in ethical individualism will exhibit reduction tactics more often than those low in ethical individualism.
H5: An individual high in ethical individualism will more often exhibit avoidant and competitive styles with disliked others during conflict than with liked others.
H6: An individual high in ethical individualism will more often exhibit escalation and maintenance tactics with disliked others during conflict than with liked others.
The difficulty Waterman (1984) faced in operationalizing "individualism" was reflective of the present researcher's concerns in trying to bring the concept of "individualism" into the realm of communication. The operationalization of "individualism" in a form more compact than the 4 scales needed to measure identity, self-actualization, locus of control, and principled moral reasoning is problematic.
Even the proper measure of "conflict" presents some obstacles to studying the kind of ethical individualism discussed here. Hocker and Wilmot (1985) identified five shortcomings in looking at conflict in terms of styles: 1) classification of one's own style is likely to differ from another's evaluation of that style, 2) style approaches do not take process into account, 3) most instruments assume behavioral consistency across contexts, relationships, and within a particular conflict, 4) a style approach focuses on the individual rather than the pattern of relational communication, and 5) a style approach assumes one's conflict style is representative of one's true motivations.
These are real concerns when considering how a person high in ethical individualism might respond to conflict. Given that such a person is concerned with her/his self-interest, that self-interest will vary across dyadic partners and situations and could thus be expected to elicit different patterns of conflict, e.g., if the partner were intensely disliked or violated one's central values, an ethical individualist might well engage in competitive conflict behaviors; the motivations will be different in such a situation than with a close loved one (see especially points 3 and 5 above).
However, since no measuring instrument for conflict has yet dealt effectively with these issues, an instrument was selected that was based on Kilmann and Thomas's (1975) approach to conflict styles. The questionnaire chosen (Shockley-Zalabak, 1988; see Appendix) assesses one's predisposition for each of Kilmann and Thomas's 5 styles: avoidance, compromise, collaboration, competition, and accommodation (see Figure 1). An additional strength of this question is its assessment of specific behavioral tactics within 4 general conflict strategies: escalation, avoidance, maintenance, and reduction. Appropriate combinations of styles and strategies should suffice to give an initial measure of the conflict behaviors hypothesized for ethical individualists.
[Figure 1 unavailable online.]
Given time constraints and the likelihood of subject fatigue, it was necessary to use a more direct measure of "individualism" than those measures used by Waterman (1984). An initial list of 17 positive and 17 negative traits associated with the two conceptualizations of individualism as presented in the relevent literature were combined into two general descriptive paragraphs. Subjects were asked which characterization of "individualism" matched their own. They were then asked if they considered themselves to be "individualists" and, if so, the strength of their identification with that label.
Initially, it was planned to have subjects fill out a conflict questionnaire to cover a close relationship, a neutral relationship, and a negative relationship. However, given the same contraints of time and subject fatigue mentioned above for measuring individualism, it was decided to have subjects think of three conflicts which were important to them and to keep those conflicts in mind when filling out the style and tactic sections of the questionnaire.
Fourteen members of a university club (6 men and 8 women) ranging in age from 21 to 34 (mean age of 25) answered the questionnaire.
All 14 of the respondents accepted the second description of individualism, i.e., ethical individualism, as corresponding to their own conceptualization of individualism. Thirteen of the subjects identified themselves as individualists. The range of the strength of their identification was from 4 to 10 with a mean of 7.92.
The correlations between strength of identification with individualism (ISTRNGTH) and conflict style are presented in Table 1; the correlations of ISTRNGTH with conflict tactics are presented in Table 2. The highest positive correlation with conflict style -- 0.19 -- was with a collaboration (integration) style; the highest negative correlation -- -0.18 -- was with an avoidance style. The highest positive correlation with conflict tactics -- 0.35 -- was with maintenance tactics; the highest negative correlation -- -0.36 -- was with avoidance tactics. Reduction tactics was correlated at 0.24 with ISTRNGTH.
[Tables 1 and 2 at end of paper.]
Given the small number of subjects and the non-random nature of the sample, no firm conclusions can be drawn about the results of these questionnaires in regard to the suggested hypotheses. Assuming that the subjects were thinking of conflicts with close others when answering the questionnaires, however, the results found are consistent with Hypotheses 1 and 3. The collaborative or integrative conflict style correlated most strongly with strength of identification with individualism. According to these subjects' self-described conflict behaviors, however, this style preference did not translate into described actual behaviors. Reduction tactics were correlated more weakly with strength of identification with individualism than were tactics designed to maintain the conflict at the current level. It is interesting to note, though, that the high negative correlations with avoidaint conflict styles and tactics are consistent with the results found by Burggraf and Sillars (1987) which reported that independent style couples disliked avoidance behaviors and were willing to engage in conflict (which might be reflected in the finding above regarding the high correlation for maintenance tactics).
Two problems in analyzing these results are the high agreement with the description of ethical individualism as the correct one and the fact that only one subject did not describe herself as an individualist of some type. This result may come from the type of individuals who join a club of this kind or from the cultural bias in this country which identifies individualism as a value. It would be interesting to administer these questionnaires to a randomly selected population and also a contrast organization (perhaps a socialist group) which publicly objects to individualism.
Many social scientists make use of individual differences in studying human behavior. Somewhat awkwardly, many of these same scientists find themselves reluctant to endorse "individualism" as a proper goal for people to follow because of the criticism which "individualism" has received from other social scientists. It is important, therefore, to understand the true nature of individualism; since all judgments about the (social) world are filtered through one's self, one's view of that self will have a profound affect on how one acts and the judgments one will make of other people.
This paper sought to correct the misconceptions surrounding the notion of "individualism" and to indicate the value of this concept in understanding and predicting the communicative behaviors of people ranking differently along this dimension. Further research which explicitly -- rather than implicitly -- looks at social behavior from an individualist perspective will help make the connections even clearer.
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Before attempting to answer the following questions about your preferences and behaviors during conflict, think of three conflicts that have been important to you.
Based on your memory of these conflicts and others, respond to the following questions about your preferences for conflict behaviors.
Circle the number that indicates whether you strongly agree (4), are inclined to agree (3), are inclined to disagree (2), or strongly disagree (1) with each of the following statements.
1. When problems arise I prefer to let others take the 4 3 2 1
responsibility for solving them.
2. I believe a middle ground can be reached in most conflicts. 4 3 2 1
3. I like everyone to be able to say what they think, even 4 3 2 1
if they don't agree with me.
4. I can be firm in pursuing what I think is right. 4 3 2 1
5. I try to reduce tension with others, take people's minds off their problems. 4 3 2 1
6. Usually it is best to postpone trying to talk to someone when they are upset. 4 3 2 1
7. Talking about feelings and issues is important in conflict. 4 3 2 1
8. I like people to be willing to give some if I will also. 4 3 2 1
9. The goal must come first; conflict is inevitable and people just can't take it. 4 3 2 1
10. When people are upset, I am more concerned about their 4 3 2 1
feelings than any particular problem.
11. I don't like to be in unpleasant or tense situations. 4 3 2 1
12. I like to win my points. 4 3 2 1
13. Most conflicts are subject to compromise. 4 3 2 1
14. Everyone should share in the gains and bear some of the losses. 4 3 2 1
15. I will not contradict others if I believe it will make them unhappy. 4 3 2 1
16. I offer solutions and ask others for solutions. 4 3 2 1
17. I prefer to have everyone who is affected involved in solving a conflict. 4 3 2 1
18. Believing disagreements can destroy effectiveness, 4 3 2 1
I encourage others to stay with more agreeable subjects.
19. I go after what I want, even if that makes others uncomfortable. 4 3 2 1
20. Differences usually aren't important enough to worry about. 4 3 2 1
21. I don't like to make other people feel bad by disagreeing. 4 3 2 1
22. I think the best solutions come when everyone participates and has 4 3 2 1
concern for others
23. I want others to know where I stand and will convince them of the rightness 4 3 2 1
of my position.
24. Confrontation can be managed if we seek middle ground. 4 3 2 1
25. I try to help others be at ease, even if that means not pressing my point. 4 3 2 1
Again remembering the important conflicts you identified, circle a number ranging from 1 (never) to 5 (always) to describe your behaviors during conflict.
Never Average Always
1. name calling 1 2 3 4 5
2. postponing the discussion 1 2 3 4 5
3. proposing compromise 1 2 3 4 5
4. expressing concern for others 1 2 3 4 5
5. expressing concern for facts 1 2 3 4 5
6. proposing areas of agreement 1 2 3 4 5
7. making threats 1 2 3 4 5
8. silence 1 2 3 4 5
9. adding issues to the original conflict 1 2 3 4 5
10. denying the conflict 1 2 3 4 5
11. supporting friends even if disagreeing 1 2 3 4 5
12. proposing solutions 1 2 3 4 5
13. agreeing to solutions 1 2 3 4 5
14. using formal votes to suppress conflict 1 2 3 4 5
(voting, parlimentary procedure, etc.)
15. overpowering competition 1 2 3 4 5
16. describing gains and losses 1 2 3 4 5
Sex ___ M ___ F
Education ___ High School ___ Some College/Tech. School
___ College/Tech. School Graduate ___ Some Graduate School
___ Advanced Degree
Marital Status ___ Single ___ Married ___ Cohabitating ___ Separated
___ Divorced ___ Widowed
Different people have different ideas about what it means to accept the value of "Individualism" or to be an "Individualist." Below are two statements describing two opposing views of what it means to be an "Individualist." Please select the one of the two statements which more closely matches your own view.
____ 1. To be an "individualist" means that one is self-absorbed, self-contained, and self-indulgent, and has an overblown sense of one's own importance. Such a person believes that people's interests are basically not compatible and so must look out primarily for him/herself to the exclusion of the needs and rights of other people. Being an individualist usually results in alienation from others and makes cooperation and good social relationships nearly impossible. Such a person treats others as objects and sacrifices them to his/her own purposes.
____ 2. To be an "individualist" means that one has a strong sense of identity and prefers to makes choices rather than leaving them for others to make. Such a person believes that self-realization and self-respect must be combined with self-assertion and a belief that he/she is the one primarily responsible for his/her life. Being an individualist means believing that the needs and interests of significant others are part of one's own self-interest. Such a person respects the rights of others yet makes decisions based on internal rather than external standards because he/she values personal integrity above popularity.
Do you consider yourself to be an individualist? ____ No ____ Yes
If you answered "yes," how strongly do you consider yourself to be an individualist?
(On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is "very strongly" and 1 "very weakly") _____
Correlation matrix between strength of identification with individualism and conflict styles.
Istrngth Avoidance Compromise Collab Competitive Accommoda
Avoidance -0.18 1.00
Compromise 0.09 0.35 1.00
Collaborative 0.19 -0.00 0.70 1.00
Competitive 0.11 -0.18 0.01 -0.11 1.00
Accommoda. -0.12 0.61 0.50 0.11 -0.40 1.00
Correlation matrix between strength of identification with individualism and conflict tactics.
Istrngth Escalation Avoidance Maintenance Reduction
Escalation 0.19 1.00
Avoidance -0.36 0.17 1.00
Maintenance 0.35 0.05 -0.02 1.00
Reduction 0.24 -0.14 -0.17 0.64 1.00
Figure 1: Conflict grid (adapted from Kilmann & Thomas, 1975) [Figure not available online.]