Professional Information for Coaches, Therapists, and Advisors Who Would Like to Use the Tool

Most of my pilot study participants were educated co-op members with a lot of life experience. Since we do not have any other reference points, I use their mean as the first reference point and their median (5,000) as the second reference point. I would like to propose a better reference point after this phase of the research. Remember not to pay too much attention to the results. Focus on the questions and reflect on what kind of person you are and if the results agree with your self-perception.

You should note that it is an experimental version of the tool, and you should be very careful in drawing conclusions. Particularly, there are no national or age norms. The mean results come from a pilot study with academic and co-operative participants from many different countries.

Apart from the collectivist and individualist dimensions, the tool also introduces horizontal and vertical behavioural patterns. They are somewhat similar to Hofstede’s power relations. Horizontal patterns of behaviour assume that every person is, more or less, like every other person. Such assumptions are related to the value of equality. By contrast, vertical patterns consist of hierarchies, and a person is viewed as different from others.

Correlations with other tools

The authors of the tool have also found relationships between collectivism/individualism and some values. This may be especially important for understanding the lifestyle choices of co-operative members. Individualism included an emphasis on self-reliance, hedonism, and emotional distance from in-groups. Collectivism included family integrity, sociability, and interdependence.

In the first version of their test, the authors argued that there are four defining attributes of individualism and collectivism: (1) the definition of self, which can be more personal, collective, independent, or interdependent; (2) trade-off between personal goals and in-group goals; (3) emphasizing exchange and rationality or communal relationships and relatedness; and (4) the relative importance of either attitudes (individualist cultures) or norms (collective cultures) as determinants of social behaviour. In the present version, the authors added two more dimensions: horizontalism (emphasizing equality) and verticalism (emphasizing hierarchy).

The Types of People According to the Authors of the Questionnaire

Horizontal individualists (HI) want to be unique and distinct from the group, and they are self-reliant but not interested in high status.

I call them “lone wolves.”

Vertical individualists (VI) often want to become distinguished and acquire status, and they do this in individual competitions with others. They are likely to say, “I want to be the best.”

I call them “predators.”

Horizontal collectivists (HC) see themselves as being similar to others (e.g., one person, one vote). They emphasize interdependence, sociability, and common goals with others. However, they do not submit easily to authority.

I call them “black cats.”

Vertical collectivists (VC) emphasize the integrity of the in-group, sacrifice their personal goals for the sake of in-group goals, and support competitions of their in-groups with out-groups. They submit to the will of these authorities.

I call them “dolphins.”

Each of the dimensions was measured by four questions with options from strongly disagree, which got 0 points, to strongly agree, which got 2,500 points. Extreme proponents of all four questions got 10,000 points while those who disagreed with all four got 0, and the mean result was 5,000.


Between Collectivism and Individualism

The Significance of Exposure


Spitzer, R. J. (2015). Finding True Happiness: Satisfying Our Restless Hearts. San Francisco: Ignatius Press.

Triandis, H. C., & Gelfand, M. J. (1998). Converging measurement of horizontal and vertical individualism and collectivism. Journal of personality and social psychology, 74(1), 118-128.