Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Pinel, Elizabeth, department of psychological science

Project Collaborators

Pinel (collaborating mentor)

Status

Graduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Psychological Science

Primary Research Category

Arts & Humanities

Presentation Title

Existential Isolation and Cultural Orientation: Collectivism as a buffer against Existential Isolation

Time

9:00 AM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Social Sciences

Abstract

This research investigates existential isolation as a function of cultural orientation, focusing specifically on horizontal and vertical collectivism. Study 1 investigated the relationship between cultural orientation, social loneliness, and existential isolation in a collective culture – South Korea. Results show that existential isolation is strongly, positively correlated with social and emotional loneliness, but negatively correlated with both horizontal and vertical collectivism. Individualism is not associated with levels of existential isolation. Moreover, we observed stronger, positive correlations between existential isolation and social loneliness among those who endorsed horizontal collectivism than among those who did not. Existential isolation is also negatively correlated with macro-level meaning systems, such as nationalism, satisfaction with Korea, and personal life satisfaction.

Study 2 compared the relationship between gender and existential isolation in a collectivist culture (South Korea; n = 124) and an individualist culture (United States; n = 147). The results show no effect of country for females: females from the United States do not differ from females from South Korea in their levels of existential isolation. In male participants, males from the United States have higher levels of existential isolation than males from South Korea. These results indicate that lower levels of existential isolation are associated with strong endorsement of collectivism – especially horizontal collectivism among South Koreans. Cross-culturally, we witnessed the strong gender differences on EI only among Americans but not Koreans. These findings have implications for researchers interested in helping people lower their feelings of existential isolation.

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Existential Isolation and Cultural Orientation: Collectivism as a buffer against Existential Isolation

This research investigates existential isolation as a function of cultural orientation, focusing specifically on horizontal and vertical collectivism. Study 1 investigated the relationship between cultural orientation, social loneliness, and existential isolation in a collective culture – South Korea. Results show that existential isolation is strongly, positively correlated with social and emotional loneliness, but negatively correlated with both horizontal and vertical collectivism. Individualism is not associated with levels of existential isolation. Moreover, we observed stronger, positive correlations between existential isolation and social loneliness among those who endorsed horizontal collectivism than among those who did not. Existential isolation is also negatively correlated with macro-level meaning systems, such as nationalism, satisfaction with Korea, and personal life satisfaction.

Study 2 compared the relationship between gender and existential isolation in a collectivist culture (South Korea; n = 124) and an individualist culture (United States; n = 147). The results show no effect of country for females: females from the United States do not differ from females from South Korea in their levels of existential isolation. In male participants, males from the United States have higher levels of existential isolation than males from South Korea. These results indicate that lower levels of existential isolation are associated with strong endorsement of collectivism – especially horizontal collectivism among South Koreans. Cross-culturally, we witnessed the strong gender differences on EI only among Americans but not Koreans. These findings have implications for researchers interested in helping people lower their feelings of existential isolation.