INDIVIDUALISM, COLLECTIVISM AND TRUST
The starting point of the study is that collectivism has not received rightful attention from scholars. It has been speculated that individualism was associated with the increase of social trust, whereas collectivism has been linked with hierarchical and engulfed social bonds that impede the formation of trust in society. Bearing this in mind, patterns of general and particularized trust among Australian national public officers were explored in relation to cultural value orientations. To measure particularized trust, five sets of social relations, which are considered to be important for our social lives, were employed. According to the result, horizontal collectivism (i.e., HC) was positively associated both with general trust and particularized trust in all five sets of social relations; furthermore, these positive relationships were maintained even when the familiarity of trustees was controlled. Vertical collectivism (i.e., VC) mirrored HC in its relationships with patterns of trust in a lesser degree; that is to say, VC was positively related with general trust and particularized trust in people in a set of social relations. In contrast, horizontal and vertical individualism (i.e., HI and VI, respectively) was not significantly linked with general trust. As for particularized trust, VI was related with trust in the former schoolmates; however, this relationship was diminished when the familiarity of trustees was controlled. Theoretical implications of the study were discussed.
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