Culture’s Constraints

Michele J. Gelfand, Nava Caluori, Sarah Gordon, Jana Raver, Lisa Nishii, Lisa Leslie and Janetta Lun

in The Oxford Handbook of Psychological Situations

ISBN: 9780190263348
Published online September 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780190848903 | DOI:
Culture’s Constraints

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Research on culture has generally ignored social situations, and research on social situations has generally ignored culture. In bringing together these two traditions, we show that nations vary considerably in the strength of social situations, and this is a key conceptual and empirical bridge between macro and distal cultural processes and micro and proximal psychological processes. The model thus illustrates some of the intervening mechanisms through which distal societal factors affect individual processes. It also helps to illuminate why cultural differences persist at the individual level, as they are adaptive to chronic differences in the strength of social situations. The strength of situations across cultures can provide new insights into cultural differences in a wide range of psychological processes.

Keywords: Situations; situational constraint; culture; tightness-looseness; social norms

Article.  12399 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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