Psychological “Software” of Societal Development: Going Past Individualism Towards Civicness

Dr hab. Jakub Kryś, Prof. IP PAN – Pracownia Psychologii Kulturowej i Badań Międzykulturowych, IP PAN


30 marca 2023

The concept of individualism is the most popular cultural dimension in social sciences. Its special meaning reaches far beyond psychology - social researchers treat individualism as the psychological “software” in the hard societal development processes. Some even label individualism the “Human Development Syndrome”.

In the planned presentation I will present the constructive critique of the mis-measurement of individualism, and the reasoning linking individualism to the universal “Human Development Syndrome”. Furthermore, inspired by the evolutionary theories on multi-level selection I will revise the forty years of studies on individualism to introduce the two-dimensional concept of civicness: beyond ego-civicness and beyond in-group civicness. I will present empirical arguments for the orthogonality of the introduced civicness concepts, and will show which type of civicness could be considered tightly co-related with high indicators of societal development. At the end, if time allows, I will discuss the meaning of our findings for the societal development science, for cultural psychology, and for public discourse.

Slides will be presented in English, but if each member of the audience will be Polish-speaking, the presentation can be run in Polish.

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