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      The changing psychology of culture from 1800 through 2000.

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          Abstract

          The Google Books Ngram Viewer allows researchers to quantify culture across centuries by searching millions of books. This tool was used to test theory-based predictions about implications of an urbanizing population for the psychology of culture. Adaptation to rural environments prioritizes social obligation and duty, giving to other people, social belonging, religion in everyday life, authority relations, and physical activity. Adaptation to urban environments requires more individualistic and materialistic values; such adaptation prioritizes choice, personal possessions, and child-centered socialization in order to foster the development of psychological mindedness and the unique self. The Google Ngram Viewer generated relative frequencies of words indexing these values from the years 1800 to 2000 in American English books. As urban populations increased and rural populations declined, word frequencies moved in the predicted directions. Books published in the United Kingdom replicated this pattern. The analysis established long-term relationships between ecological change and cultural change, as predicted by the theory of social change and human development (Greenfield, 2009).

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          The self and social behavior in differing cultural contexts.

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            Modernization, Cultural Change, and the Persistence of Traditional Values

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              Having less, giving more: the influence of social class on prosocial behavior.

              Lower social class (or socioeconomic status) is associated with fewer resources, greater exposure to threat, and a reduced sense of personal control. Given these life circumstances, one might expect lower class individuals to engage in less prosocial behavior, prioritizing self-interest over the welfare of others. The authors hypothesized, by contrast, that lower class individuals orient to the welfare of others as a means to adapt to their more hostile environments and that this orientation gives rise to greater prosocial behavior. Across 4 studies, lower class individuals proved to be more generous (Study 1), charitable (Study 2), trusting (Study 3), and helpful (Study 4) compared with their upper class counterparts. Mediator and moderator data showed that lower class individuals acted in a more prosocial fashion because of a greater commitment to egalitarian values and feelings of compassion. Implications for social class, prosocial behavior, and economic inequality are discussed.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Psychol Sci
                Psychological science
                SAGE Publications
                1467-9280
                0956-7976
                Sep 2013
                : 24
                : 9
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles.
                Article
                0956797613479387
                10.1177/0956797613479387
                23925305
                96340216-8de4-404c-8b9c-1d20d067a097

                content analysis,cultural change,quantitative analysis,sociocultural factors,values

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