This study investigated the high-/low-context communication construct in terms of individualistic and collectivist values and self-construals. European American students studying in the United States and Indian students studying in India rated 80 communication statements, 29 self-construal statements and 34 value (individualism/collectivism) statements to examine cultural differences in each construct. As expected, Indians rated themselves as more collectivistic, having more interdependent self-construals, and preferring silence and indirect communication than Americans. Contrary to prior theorization, Indians also rated themselves as more dramatic and more individualistic. Several other expected differences were not apparent in this study. These findings show complex subtleties that defy simple definition by the common rubrics or generalizations of individualism/collectivism, self-construal, or high- and low-context behaviors.
- High/low context
- United States