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Culture & Psychology

 

I was trained under the guidance of Harry Triandis and am interested in understanding what makes human groups similar and different in order to broaden psychological science, as well as to inform policy. My early work focused on the distinction of vertical and horizontal individualism and collectivism (see the scale here). Our team has recently begun to systematically investigate the strength of norms across cultures, or what is referred to as cultural tightness-looseness (TL). Teaming up with partners around the world and from different disciplines, we are doing research on the ecological and historical factors that promote TL at both the national and state level, the neurobiological and genetic underpinnings of TL, the evolutionary basis of TL, and the implications of TL for organizations, expatriates, and for societal well-being. I also research subjective culture (e.g., honor, wasta, fatalism) in the Middle East. We use laboratory, field, computational, EEG, and fRMI to examine our research questions.

I also edit the series Advances in Cultural Psychology which summarizes important research programs in the emerging field of Cultural Psychology.

See papers in this area below. 

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Jackson, J. C., Gelfand, M., & Ember, C. (2020). A global analysis of cultural tightness in non-industrial societies. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 287, 20201036. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/9s57z

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Elster, A., & Gelfand, M. J. (2020). When guiding principles do not guide: The moderating effects of cultural tightness on value-behavior links. Journal of Personality. Advanced online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12584

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Salvador, C. E., Mu, Y., Gelfand, M. J., & Kitayama, S. (2020). When norm violations are spontaneously detected: An electrocortical investigation. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 15(3), 319–327. https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsaa035

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Van Bavel, J. J., Baicker, K., Boggio, P. S., Capraro, V., Cichocka, A., Cikara, M., Crockett, M. J., Crum, A. J., Douglas, K. M., Druckman, J. N., Drury, J., Dube, O., Ellemers, N., Finkel, E. J., Fowler, J. H., Gelfand, M., Han, S., Haslam, S. A., Jetten, J., … Willer, R. (2020). Using social and behavioural science to support COVID-19 pandemic response. Nature Human Behaviour, 4(5), 460–471. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-020-0884-z

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Gelfand, M. J., Caluori, N., Jackson, J. C., & Taylor, M. K. (2020). The cultural evolutionary trade-off of ritualistic synchrony. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 375(1805), 20190432. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0432

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Gelfand, M. J. & Denison, E. E. (2020) Moving beyond the West vs. the rest: Understanding variation within Asian groups and its societal consequences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2000930117

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Habersaat, K. B., Betsch, C., Danchin, M., Sunstein, C. R., Böhm, R., Falk, A., Brewer, N. T., Omer, S. B., Scherzer, M., Sah, S., Fischer, E. F., Scheel, A. E., Fancourt, D., Kitayama, S., Dubé, E., Leask, J., Dutta, M., MacDonald, N. E., Temkina, A., … Butler, R. (2020). Ten considerations for effectively managing the COVID-19 transition. Nature Human Behaviour, 4(7), 677–687. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-020-0906-x

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Van Kleef, G., Gelfand, M. J., & Jetten, J. (2019). The dynamic nature of social norms: New perspectives on norm development, impact, violation, and enforcement. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 103814, 103814-103814. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2019.05.002

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Gelfand, M. J. (2019) Explaining the puzzle of human diversity. Science, 366(6466), 686-687.

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Stamkou, E., van Kleef, G. A., Homan, A. C., Gelfand, M. J., van de Vijver, F. J., van Egmond, M. C., ... & Cantarero, K. (2019). Cultural collectivism and tightness moderate responses to norm violators: Effects on power perception, moral emotions, and leader support. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 45(6), 947-964.

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Jackson, J. C., van Egmond, M., Choi, V. K., Ember, C. R., Halberstadt, J., Balanovic, J., ... & Gelfand, M. J. (2019). Ecological and cultural factors underlying the global distribution of prejudice. PloS ONE, 14(9), e0221953.

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Geeraert, N., Li, R., Ward, C., Gelfand, M., & Demes, K. A. (2019). A tight spot: How personality moderates the impact of social norms on sojourner adaptation. Psychological Science, 30(3), 333-342.

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Jackson, J. C., Gelfand, M., De, S., & Fox, A. (2019). The loosening of American culture over 200 years is associated with a creativity–order trade-off. Nature Human Behavior, 3(3), 244.

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Gelfand, M. J. (2019). Universal and culture-specific patterns of tightness-looseness across the 31 Chinese provinces. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(14), 6522-6524.

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De S., Nau D. S., Pan X., Gelfand M. J. (2018). Tipping points for norm change in human cultures. In Thomson R., Dancy C., Hyder A., Bisgin H. (Eds.), Social, Cultural, and Behavioral Modeling. SBP-BRiMS 2018. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 10899.

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De, S., Nau, D.S., & Gelfand, M. (2017). Understanding norm change: An evolutionary game-theoretic approach. In Das, S., Durfee, E., Larson, K., & Winikoff, E. (Eds.). Proceedings of the International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, 1433-1441.

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Mu, Y., Han, S., & Gelfand, M. J. (2017). The role of gamma interbrain synchrony in social coordination when humans face territorial threats. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 12(10), 1614-1623.

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Li, R., Gordon, S., & Gelfand, M. J. (2017). Tightness–looseness: A new framework to understand consumer behavior. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 27(3), 377-391.

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Gelfand, M. J., Harrington, J. R., & Jackson, J. C. (2017). The strength of social norms across human groups. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12(5), 800-809.

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Gelfand, M. J., Aycan, Z., Erez, M., & Leung, K. (2017). Cross-cultural industrial organizational psychology and organizational behavior: A hundred-year journey. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), 514.

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Gelfand, M. J., & Kashima, Y. (2016). Editorial overview: Culture: Advances in the science of culture and psychology. Current Opinion in Psychology, 8(1), 1-7.

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De, S., Gelfand, M. J., Nau, D., & Roos, P. (2016). The inevitability of ethnocentrism revisited: Ethnocentrism diminishes as mobility increases. Scientific Reports, 5, 17963.

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Gelfand, M. J., & Jackson, J. C. (2016). From one mind to many: the emerging science of cultural norms. Current Opinion in Psychology, 8, 175-181.

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Gunia, B. C., Brett, J. M., & Gelfand, M. J. (2016). The science of culture and negotiation. Current Opinion in Psychology, 8, 78-83.

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Aktas, M., Gelfand, M. J., & Hanges, P. J. (2016). Cultural tightness–looseness and perceptions of effective leadership. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 47(2), 294-309.

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Mu, Y., Kitayama, S., Han, S., & Gelfand, M. J. (2015). How culture gets embrained: Cultural differences in event-related potentials of social norm violations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(50), 15348-15353.

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Harrington, J. R., Boski, P., & Gelfand, M. J. (2015). Culture and national well-being: Should societies emphasize freedom or constraint?. PloS one, 10(6), e0127173.

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Realo, A., Linnamägi, K., & Gelfand, M. J. (2015). The cultural dimension of tightness–looseness: An analysis of situational constraint in Estonia and Greece. International Journal of Psychology, 50(3), 193-204.

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Roos, P., Gelfand, M., Nau, D., & Lun, J. (2015). Societal threat and cultural variation in the strength of social norms: An evolutionary basis. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 129, 14-23.

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Harrington, J. R., & Gelfand, M. J. (2014). Tightness–looseness across the 50 united states. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(22), 7990-7995.

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