Popular Press

Popular press articles by Dr. Michele J. Gelfand

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May 27, 2020

As states reopen, tensions flare between the rule followers and rule breakers

The Conversation

Different mindsets about rules can lead to different behaviors.

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March 13, 2020

To survive the coronavirus, the United States must tighten up

Boston Globe

It’s not just about medicine. It’s about culture.

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January 7, 2020

The dark side of supportive relationships

The Conversation

Your partner’s intentions might be good, but the outcome often isn’t.

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January 2, 2020

Authoritarian leaders thrive on fear. We need to help people feel safe

The Guardian

Across the world, voters are falling prey to leaders who appeal to their worst instincts. Why?

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October 25, 2019

Opinion: Can the diaries of ordinary people be used to bridge cultural divides?

Los Angeles Times

Words that carry weight: In a University of Maryland study, Pakistanis and Americans who read diaries from the others’ culture often came away with a more positive and tolerant perspective.

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September 25, 2019

Could climate change fuel the rise of right-wing nationalism?

The Conversation

When people feel threatened, they’re more receptive to politicians who espouse xenophobic rhetoric.

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September 16, 2019

Opinion: The science behind how Trump turns our unfounded fears into a potent political weapon

Los Angeles Times

Extremely rare but vivid threats often loom large in the human mind.

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September 9, 2019

Understanding Cultural Differences Around Social Norms

Behavioral Scientist

Dr. Gelfand answers reader questions in Behavioral Scientist's "Ask a Behavioral Scientist" series

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June 10, 2019

This is how Tesla can improve its company culture

Fast Company

This psychology professor and her research team argues that it’s not about remaking the company, but introducing structure without compromising on Tesla’s commitment to innovate.

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May 12, 2019

Who was behind Sri Lanka's Easter Terrorist Attacks?

National Interest

While the Islamic State has claimed responsibility, the real story is a bit more complicated than that.

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April 2, 2019

Women Don't Just Face a Pay Gap at Work. They're Also Punished Far More Than Men

TIME

On Equal Pay Day, we rightly focus on how a woman would have to work over three months more in order to make what her male counterpart did last year for the same full time work — a gender pay gap that amounts to about $900 billion in annual lost earnings for women holding full-time jobs. But inequities in the workplace go far beyond wage disparity.

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January 28, 2019

Culture as the menacing force behind today’s crazy politics

The Economist

A book excerpt and interview with Michele Gelfand, an author and psychologist at the University of Maryland

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January 28, 2019

Tight or Loose: How Culture Impacts Everything, Even Your Job

Glassdoor

According to a new book by cultural psychologist Michele Gelfand, “Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World,” much of the diversity in the way we think and act derives from a key difference—how tightly or loosely we adhere to social norms. Looking a countries, states, cities, workplaces and even families, Gelfand shows how tight and loose cultures shape our entire lives, and play a big role in the decisions we make around where we live, what company we work for and how we approach others.

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December 27, 2018

A Big-Picture Look at Social Rules

Psychology Today

Research on how people make and break rules can help us understand each other.

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December 17, 2018

Radicalism and Cultural Homelessness

Minerva Research Initiative

Events like the 2015 Paris attacks, the 2015 San Bernardino shootings, the 2016 Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting, the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, and others since are seared into our memories. While many details of these attacks were different, they do have a striking commonality: these attacks were perpetrated by immigrant residents or citizens of the targeted country. Such tragedies raise a puzzling question: what would make someone turn against their own country?

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November 27, 2018

An upper-class mindset doesn’t make you classy

Boston Globe

In a study of traffic patterns, researchers at the University of California found that drivers of luxury cars were far more likely to cut off other cars than were lower status cars.

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October 4, 2018

Threat, fear, and the evolutionary appeal of autocrats

The Hill

These days, it seems like the best path to political success is to become an autocrat.

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October 2, 2018

One Reason Mergers Fail: The Two Cultures Aren’t Compatible

Harvard Business Review

Amazon’s 2017 acquisition of Whole Foods was met with a lot of fanfare. In the words of Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, the partnership was “love at first sight.” A year later, such optimism seems hard to find at Whole Foods.

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September 17, 2018

Here’s the science behind the Brexit vote and Trump’s rise

The Guardian

My research shows that when people feel threatened they want ‘tighter’ social norms, with profound consequences for politics

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September 14, 2018

The answer to this single question will help you understand a company’s entire culture

Linkedin

Is your organization “tight” or “loose”?

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