Posted on June 12, 2023

Does Diversity Foster Individualism?

Stewart J. H. McCann, Journal of Social Psychology, June 6, 2022

Recent longitudinal research by others analyzing the relation between racial-ethnic diversity and individualism-collectivism in the 50 American states over the period 2000–2018 suggests that racial-ethnic diversity promotes individualism. The present study used a cross-sectional approach based on 2013 data to determine whether a relation mirroring the longitudinal pattern exists between racial-ethnic diversity and individualism-collectivism across the 50 states. Two measures of state racial-ethnic diversity were related to four measures of state individualism-collectivism using Pearson correlation and partial correlation controlling for state socioeconomic status. All correlations between diversity and individualism were negative and all those between diversity and collectivism were positive. The absolute magnitudes ranged from .43 to .68 for the Pearson correlations and from .43 to .67 for the partial correlations. Contrary to the earlier longitudinal findings, the current results show that states with higher racial-ethnic diversity are less individualistic and more collectivistic.