Beyond WEIRD Psychology: Measuring and Mapping Scales of Cultural and Psychological Distance

70 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2018

See all articles by Michael Muthukrishna

Michael Muthukrishna

London School of Economics and Political Science

Adrian V Bell

University of Utah

Joseph Henrich

Harvard University; Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)

Cameron M Curtin

Harvard University

Alexander Gedranovich

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Jason McInerney

Iowa State University

Braden Thue

Harvard University

Date Written: October 2, 2018

Abstract

We present a new tool that provides a means to measure the psychological and cultural distance between two societies and create a distance scale with any population as the point of comparison. Since psychological data is dominated by samples drawn from the United States or other WEIRD nations, this tool provides a “WEIRD scale” to assist researchers in systematically extending the existing database of psychological phenomena to more diverse and globally representative samples. As the extreme WEIRDness of the literature begins to dissolve, the tool will become more useful for designing, planning, and justifying a wide range of comparative psychological projects. We have made our code available and developed an online application for creating other scales (including the “Sino scale” also presented in this paper). We discuss regional diversity within nations showing the relative homogeneity of the United States. Finally, we use these scales to predict various psychological outcomes.

Keywords: WEIRD people, cultural psychology, cultural distance, cross-cultural differences, replication crisis

Suggested Citation

Muthukrishna, Michael and Bell, Adrian and Henrich, Joseph and Curtin, Cameron and Gedranovich, Alexander and McInerney, Jason and Thue, Braden, Beyond WEIRD Psychology: Measuring and Mapping Scales of Cultural and Psychological Distance (October 2, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3259613 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3259613

Michael Muthukrishna (Contact Author)

London School of Economics and Political Science ( email )

Houghton Street, Social Psychology
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Adrian Bell

University of Utah ( email )

1645 E. Campus Center
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States

Joseph Henrich

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) ( email )

180 Dundas Street West, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario
Canada

Cameron Curtin

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Alexander Gedranovich

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Jason McInerney

Iowa State University ( email )

Ames, IA 50011-2063
United States

Braden Thue

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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