A New Framework for Characterizing the Psychology of Nations
131 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2022
Date Written: March 23, 2022
Nations differ in their levels of wealth, health, innovation, environment, and globalization, among numerous other attributes. These differences are driven, in part, by the psychological and behavioral characteristics of those nations. But how should we characterize the psychology of nations? Here, we use data from over 5 million (N = 5,179,204) individuals along with census statistics, subsampling, and machine learning methods to derive a completely new framework—global personality archetypes—for characterizing the psychology of nations. We find striking differences in the composition of national psychology across the 47 nations we study; these differences are strongly associated with a broad range of national outcomes, even after controlling for endogeneity and other confounding factors. Moreover, national compositions provide better explanations for most of these outcomes than do alternative models such as national Big Five averages or Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. In particular, our analyses highlight the impact of anxious, over-controlled, and undirected personalities on indicators of economic (e.g., globalization, innovativeness, prosperity), environmental (e.g., environmental health), and health (e.g., healthiness) outcomes. These results demonstrate the role played by national psychology in economic and social development and suggest the underlying composition of this psychology deserves greater attention in psychological research at the national level.
Keywords: Nations, Personality, Composition, National Psychology, Big Five, Archetypal Analysis
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