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Klaus Boehnke

So, I go back yet another 16 years to 1996. The older one gets, the fonder are memories from way back when. In the attached picture, you see us on a cruise on the St. Lawrence River on the occasion of the 16th International Congress of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology (IACCP) in Montreal. This was the first time I met Michele. I believe it was the time when she had just accepted the offer from UMaryland. As an aside, I should mention that in 1996 IACCP had already drawn the two of us in, so-to speak, Michele became treasurer a few years later, I was IACCP’s secretary general from 2000 to 2008, and lately (2018-2020) its president. The ‘us’ on the picture includes Mark F. Peterson, an American, now, I believe, at Aarhus University in Denmark, sitting on Michele’s right side (with me on her left side). On the window side, next to Mark, a colleague whose name I do not remember; the same applies to the colleague sitting opposite to her on the window side. The gentleman sitting opposite to Michele and me is Norm Feather from Flinders University in Australia, one of the most prominent psychologists from down under—like Michele and myself working on values and related constructs. Why do I send this picture? Because it shows the birth of a highly productive academic friendship. From ever then onward Michele and I cooperated on survey studies of mutual interest. Our cooperation, of course, culminated in the seminal paper on tightness-looseness that Michele had the chutzpah to push into Science in 2011. It was my pleasure to not only be a passive data deliverer for that paper but an active participant in the production of analyses and text. Thank you, Michele, that you had the guts to sell a simple seven-item (or was it six?) factor analysis to the second most important journal around for us academics. That publication laid the ground for my nomination of Michele for the prestigious Anneliese Maier Award of Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, endowed with 250,000 Euros, which she received in 2012. It also laid the ground for me to receive an offer for a professorship at the University of Warwick, ranked in the Top 5 of UK universities, and among the Top 20 worldwide. I declined the offer, and stayed at Jacobs University with improved conditions that still pay off. As we have continued to cooperate also after Anneliese Maier, I have high hopes that there will also be joint projects in the future—unlike public universities in Germany, Jacobs, as a private enterprise, does not know mandatory retirement, and allows me to continue for at least four more years, long enough, I’d say, to venture into something new with Michele….

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