On the origins of cultural differences in conformity: Four tests of the pathogen prevalence hypothesis

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin Vol/Iss. 37(3) Sage Publications Published In Pages: 318-329
By Murray, Damian R., Trudeau, Russell, Schaller, Mark


The authors contribute to a growing body of theory which posits cultural differences as a result of variable pathogen prevalence by testing the relationship between pathogen richness and various measures of conformity in a cross-regional sample. After controlling for confounds such as life expectancy, GDP, population density, arable land area, and agricultural labor force, the authors suggest that conformity is emphasized to varying degrees in response to the increased vulnerability to pathogens generally associated with deviation from normative social conduct.

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