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Tightness-looseness across the 50 united states.

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      Abstract

      This research demonstrates wide variation in tightness-looseness (the strength of punishment and degree of latitude/permissiveness) at the state level in the United States, as well as its association with a variety of ecological and historical factors, psychological characteristics, and state-level outcomes. Consistent with theory and past research, ecological and man-made threats--such as a higher incidence of natural disasters, greater disease prevalence, fewer natural resources, and greater degree of external threat--predicted increased tightness at the state level. Tightness is also associated with higher trait conscientiousness and lower trait openness, as well as a wide array of outcomes at the state level. Compared with loose states, tight states have higher levels of social stability, including lowered drug and alcohol use, lower rates of homelessness, and lower social disorganization. However, tight states also have higher incarceration rates, greater discrimination and inequality, lower creativity, and lower happiness relative to loose states. In all, tightness-looseness provides a parsimonious explanation of the wide variation we see across the 50 states of the United States of America.

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      Political conservatism as motivated social cognition.

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        Liberals and conservatives rely on different sets of moral foundations.

        How and why do moral judgments vary across the political spectrum? To test moral foundations theory (J. Haidt & J. Graham, 2007; J. Haidt & C. Joseph, 2004), the authors developed several ways to measure people's use of 5 sets of moral intuitions: Harm/care, Fairness/reciprocity, Ingroup/loyalty, Authority/respect, and Purity/sanctity. Across 4 studies using multiple methods, liberals consistently showed greater endorsement and use of the Harm/care and Fairness/reciprocity foundations compared to the other 3 foundations, whereas conservatives endorsed and used the 5 foundations more equally. This difference was observed in abstract assessments of the moral relevance of foundation-related concerns such as violence or loyalty (Study 1), moral judgments of statements and scenarios (Study 2), "sacredness" reactions to taboo trade-offs (Study 3), and use of foundation-related words in the moral texts of religious sermons (Study 4). These findings help to illuminate the nature and intractability of moral disagreements in the American "culture war." Copyright (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved.
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          Differences between tight and loose cultures: a 33-nation study.

          With data from 33 nations, we illustrate the differences between cultures that are tight (have many strong norms and a low tolerance of deviant behavior) versus loose (have weak social norms and a high tolerance of deviant behavior). Tightness-looseness is part of a complex, loosely integrated multilevel system that comprises distal ecological and historical threats (e.g., high population density, resource scarcity, a history of territorial conflict, and disease and environmental threats), broad versus narrow socialization in societal institutions (e.g., autocracy, media regulations), the strength of everyday recurring situations, and micro-level psychological affordances (e.g., prevention self-guides, high regulatory strength, need for structure). This research advances knowledge that can foster cross-cultural understanding in a world of increasing global interdependence and has implications for modeling cultural change.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ] Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 jesserh@umd.edu mgelfand@umd.edu.
            Journal
            Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
            Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
            1091-6490
            0027-8424
            Jun 3 2014
            : 111
            : 22
            24843116 1317937111 10.1073/pnas.1317937111 4050535

            norms, index, ecology, culture

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