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Most people think of cultural differences in terms of race, class, nationality, or religion. Michele Gelfand introduces the concept of ‘tight” and “loose”, which cuts across all of those other categories.
Michele is a distinguished professor of psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park and joins David to discuss cultural diversity from an evolutionary perspective and more, including why the working class cares more about following the rules, the fractal nature of social norms, gamma wave synchrony in response to threat, and the strengths and limits of a tight-loose axis approach.
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Published On: October 20, 2019

Michele Gelfand

Michele Gelfand

Michele Gelfand is Professor of Psychology and Affiliate of the RH Smith School of Business and lead a diverse group of scholars within the Social Decision Making and Organizational Science area at the University of Maryland, College Park. Under her direction, this group studies phenomenon relating to the strength of cultural norms and cultural values, negotiation, conflict, revenge, and forgiveness, and and diversity. More recently, she has branched into the study of subjective culture in the Middle East, and founded a growing research program on tightness-looseness. Her philosophy is to incorporate as many disciplinary perspectives as possible into her work, and she and colleagues work with computer scientists, neuroscientists, political scientists, and increasingly biologists to understand all things cultural. Check out the group here, and find out how to get involved here.

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