Differences between tight and loose cultures: a 33-nation study

Science Vol/Iss. 332 American Association for the Advancement of Science New York, Ny Published In Pages: 1100-1104
By Gelfand, Michele J., Raver, Jana L., Nishii, Lisa, Leslie, Lisa M., Lun, Janetta, Lim, Beng Chong, Duan, Lili, Almaliach, Assaf, Ang, Soon, Arnadottir, Jakobina, Aycan, Zeynep, Boehnke, Klaus, Boski, Pawel, Cabecinhas, Rosa, Chan, Darius, Chhokar, Jagdeep, D’Amato, Alessia, Ferrer, Montse, Fischlmayr, Iris C., Fischer, Ronald, Fülöp, Marta, Georgas, James, Kashima, Emiko S., Kashima, Yoshishima, Kim, Kibum, Lempereur, Alain, Marquez, Patricia, Othman, Rozhan, Overlaet, Bert, Panagiotopoulou, Penny, Peltzer, Karl, Perez-Florizno, Lorena R., Ponomarenko, Larisa, Realo, Anu, Schei, Vidar, Schmitt, Manfred, Smith, Peter B., Soomro, Nazar, Szabo, Erna, Taveesin, Nalinee, Toyama, Midori, Van de Vliert, Evert, Vohra, Naharika, Ward, Colleen, Yamaguchi, Susum


This article explores differences between "tight" cultures ("have many strong norms and low tolerance of deviant behavior") and "loose" cultures ("have weak social norms and high tolerance of deviant behavior"). The tightness-looseness measure manifests in a myriad of macro and micro phenomena, from governance and religiosity to individual psychological processes. This study investigates these phenomena in modern nations rather than traditional societies. Potential ecological, historical, and socio-political predictors of tightness-looseness are also examined.


This study includes dozens of correlations; the hypotheses in this report are only a small sample.


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
Other*Authors sampled respondents for their own survey and correlated responses with coded data from a variety of other sources (the U.N., etc.)

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:matthew.g.roth Amelia Piazza