What do we see in a tilted square? A validation of the figure independence scale

Heejung S. Kim, David K. Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The Figure Independence Scale (FIS) assesses people's preference for abstract figures that represent uniqueness. As psychological manifestations of cultural values cohere among each other within a cultural system, the authors argue that preference for uniqueness, as a psychological manifestation of the value for independence, can be used as an indirect measure of this value. Four studies examine the convergent, discriminant, and predictive validity of the FIS. The results indicate that liking for abstract, unique figures coheres with other specific manifestations of the value for independence (i.e., responses to explicit independence scale, need for personal control, liking for independence themes in advertisements, and use of social coping) and thus can be used as a measure of individuals' more global endorsement of this individualistic value.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-60
Number of pages14
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Culture
  • Independence
  • Scale validation
  • Uniqueness
  • Values


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