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Relational Models and Horizontal & Vertical Individualism-Collectivism:
Unformatted Document Text:  Relational Models 22 Conclusion In summery, the research presented here provides strong evidence suggesting that fundamental cultural dimensions have corresponding dimensions in individuals’ cognition. Specifically, horizontal and vertical individualism and collectivism correspond with Fiske’s relational models. How individuals represent their relationships in cognition, however, is not solely determined by culture. Equally important are interpersonal dimensions such as intimacy. Results of this study have showed that more CS in interpersonal relationships is associated with greater intimacy for members of both Western and Eastern cultures. This association between intimacy and a communal orientation in interpersonal relationships has been suggested before (i.e., Roloff, 1981, 1987; and Mills & Clark, 1982), at least for American culture, but not tested in a cross-cultural context. The notion that there are characteristics of interpersonal relationships that are universally valid, that is, apply to interpersonal relationships in every culture, obviously is an important one. The recent shift in the social sciences away from an extreme nurture position to one that acknowledges an important role for nature in human behavior is important for research in interpersonal as well as intercultural communication. If, as a discipline, interpersonal communication wants to remain relevant, we have to participate in the renewed nature and nurture discussion. This study suggest that one way to approach this topic is by identifying universals of human relationships, such as relational models, and to investigate how they interact with culture, constrain culture, or are constrained by culture. I fully intent to follow this road in my future research, and hope that my colleagues find this route equally interesting and fruitful.

Authors: Koerner, Ascan.
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Relational Models
22
Conclusion
In summery, the research presented here provides strong evidence suggesting that
fundamental cultural dimensions have corresponding dimensions in individuals’ cognition.
Specifically, horizontal and vertical individualism and collectivism correspond with
Fiske’s relational models. How individuals represent their relationships in cognition,
however, is not solely determined by culture. Equally important are interpersonal
dimensions such as intimacy. Results of this study have showed that more CS in
interpersonal relationships is associated with greater intimacy for members of both
Western and Eastern cultures. This association between intimacy and a communal
orientation in interpersonal relationships has been suggested before (i.e., Roloff, 1981,
1987; and Mills & Clark, 1982), at least for American culture, but not tested in a
cross-cultural context.
The notion that there are characteristics of interpersonal relationships that are
universally valid, that is, apply to interpersonal relationships in every culture, obviously is
an important one. The recent shift in the social sciences away from an extreme nurture
position to one that acknowledges an important role for nature in human behavior is
important for research in interpersonal as well as intercultural communication. If, as a
discipline, interpersonal communication wants to remain relevant, we have to participate in
the renewed nature and nurture discussion. This study suggest that one way to approach this
topic is by identifying universals of human relationships, such as relational models, and to
investigate how they interact with culture, constrain culture, or are constrained by culture. I
fully intent to follow this road in my future research, and hope that my colleagues find this
route equally interesting and fruitful.


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