Differences Between Tight and Loose Cultures: A 33-Nation Study Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • With data from 33 nations, we illustrate the differences between cultures that are tight (have many strong norms and a low tolerance of deviant behavior) versus loose (have weak social norms and a high tolerance of deviant behavior). Tightness-looseness is part of a complex, loosely integrated multilevel system that comprises distal ecological and historical threats (e.g., high population density, resource scarcity, a history of territorial conflict, and disease and environmental threats), broad versus narrow socialization in societal institutions (e.g., autocracy, media regulations), the strength of everyday recurring situations, and micro-level psychological affordances (e.g., prevention self-guides, high regulatory strength, need for structure). This research advances knowledge that can foster cross-cultural understanding in a world of increasing global interdependence and has implications for modeling cultural change.

authors

  • Gelfand, MJ
  • Raver, JL
  • Nishii, L
  • Leslie, LM
  • Lun, J
  • Lim, BC
  • Duan, L
  • Almaliach, A
  • Ang, S
  • Arnadottir, J
  • Aycan, Z
  • Boehnke, K
  • Boski, P
  • Cabecinhas, R
  • Chan, D
  • Chhokar, J
  • D'Amato, A
  • Ferrer, M
  • Fischlmayr, IC
  • Fischer, R
  • Fulop, M
  • Georgas, J
  • Kashima, ES
  • Kashima, Y
  • Kim, K
  • Lempereur, A
  • Marquez, P
  • Othman, R
  • Overlaet, B
  • Panagiotopoulou, P
  • Peltzer, K
  • Perez-Florizno, LR
  • Ponomarenko, L
  • Realo, A
  • Schei, V
  • Schmitt, M
  • Smith, PB
  • Soomro, N
  • Szabo, E
  • Taveesin, N
  • Toyama, M
  • Van de Vliert, E
  • Vohra, N
  • Ward, C
  • Yamaguchi, S

publication date

  • May 27, 2011