Two dimensions of psychological country-level differences: conservatism/liberalism and harshness/softness

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Stankov, Lazar, Lee, Jihyun and van de Vijver, Fons J. R.. 2014. "Two dimensions of psychological country-level differences: conservatism/liberalism and harshness/softness." Learning and Individual Differences: journal of psychology and education. 30, pp. 22-33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2013.12.001
Article Title

Two dimensions of psychological country-level differences: conservatism/liberalism and harshness/softness

ERA Journal ID6506
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsStankov, Lazar (Author), Lee, Jihyun (Author) and van de Vijver, Fons J. R. (Author)
Journal TitleLearning and Individual Differences: journal of psychology and education
Journal Citation30, pp. 22-33
Number of Pages12
Year2014
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN1041-6080
1873-3425
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2013.12.001
Web Address (URL)http://ac.els-cdn.com/S104160801300215X/1-s2.0-S104160801300215X-main.pdf?_tid=96ed6018-7bf8-11e7-ba10-00000aacb35e&acdnat=1502169508_2d719f146b070e159053ae227a4d8696
Abstract

We examined dimensions of noncognitive functioning based on the administration of 22 measures of personality, social attitudes, values, and social norms in 35 countries (Ns ranging from 9 to 430; Total N= 1895). Four essentially identical factors were found at individual and country level: Personality/Social Attitudes; Values; Social Norms, and Conservatism. The four factors were correlated at country level, yielding a second-order conservatism/Liberalism (combining Conservatism and Values) and a Harshness/Softness factor (combining Personality/Social Attitudes and Norms). Broad Conservatism/Liberalism is akin to Inglehart's (1997) contrast between survival and well-being; it was negatively correlated with countries' affluence, educational achievement indicators, and measures of mass communication and freedom. The Harshness/Softness factor contrasts countries that are tough and harsh/unforgiving and countries that are warm and tolerant; it is related to Gelfand et al.'s (2011) tightness/looseness dimension. Harshness/Softness factor was (negatively) correlated with death penalty, murder rate and muggings, and the proportion of Christians; it was positively correlated with Minkov's (2011) index of Industry and his index of countries' death penalty application. It is concluded that the domain of noncognitive psychological functioning has a fairly corresponding structure at individual and country levels.

Keywordscross-cultural differences; harshness/softness; liberalism/conservatism; multilevel analysis
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020529999. Other psychology not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Western Sydney
University of New South Wales
Tilburg University, Netherlands
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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