Explaining the Moral Foreign-Language Effect

When people use a foreign language, they’re more likely to make a utilitarian choice—the greatest good for the greatest number—but the reasons why were unclear until now.

When Does Close Become Too Close?

Everybody knows Italians have smaller “personal bubbles” than Americans, right? Well, maybe not. A new study examines interpersonal distances in 42 countries.
Lawrence White

(^_^) Do You See a Smiling Face?

Researchers have known for years that happy and sad facial expressions are easily recognized by people around the world. Is the same true for happy and sad emoticons?

Is Implicit Bias a Useful Scientific Concept?

Fewer people than ever before say they are racially prejudiced, yet racial disparities persist. Is implicit bias a viable scientific explanation?

Why Are Some States "Tighter" Than Others?

State-level differences in making and enforcing rules can help us understand why illicit drug use is lower—and levels of cautiousness are higher—in the South than in the West.

National Differences in Attitudes toward Gays and Lesbians

Why are some European countries more accepting of gays and lesbians? The answer may be found in newly-discovered national differences in empathic concern.

How to Win an Argument with Your Political Opponent

By reframing arguments in the moral language of your opponents, you can induce them to step away from their original position and move closer to yours.

Is the Warm Glow of Giving Universal?

If I gave you $20, would you feel happier spending the money on yourself or spending the money on someone else? If you’re like most people in the world …

The World at 7:00 PM

Psychologists know how to describe individuals, but can they describe situations? Volunteers in 20 nations used a new tool to describe what they did last night at 7:00.

Do People Everywhere Cheat?

Do people in some countries generally cheat more often than people in other countries? Two international teams of researchers think not.

Two Steps Toward Intercultural Competence

Interacting successfully with people who are culturally different is rarely easy. Insights from cross-cultural psychology can help.

The Seductive Allure of Psychological Atlases

A psychological atlas is a map that depicts regional variations in the observed scores on a psychological measure or test. Why are they often problematic?

Why Psychologists Conduct Cross-Cultural Studies

Cross-cultural psychology is hot, hot, hot. But it's as much about "method" as it is about "content." Why must mainstream psychologists sometimes conduct studies in foreign lands?

That’s Not Fair!

Where do standards of fairness come from? Are they a human universal, part of some evolutionary adaptation that supports cooperation? Or are they socially acquired norms?

Why Are Old People So Religious?

The stereotype of the elderly churchgoer is deeply ingrained in the American psyche. Many of us assume that the older you get, the more religious you become. But is that true?

Does Advertising Content Reflect or Shape Societal Values?

Two psychologists examined the content of ads in Dutch and Italian newspapers. How often were women depicted as sex objects? How often were men depicted as working professionals?

Are You Being Lied To?

No matter the technique, most people can’t spot liars on a consistent basis. One potential solution is to remove “people” from the equation. Just let a computer do it.

Are School Shooters Running Amok?

School shootings in the U.S. are similar in many ways to a SE Asian variety of sudden mass assault called “amok.” Does it make sense to think of American-style school shootings as a culture-bound syndrome?

How Important Is It to Look Competent?

University students in Korea can look at the faces of two unknown political opponents in the U.S. and choose the winner about two-thirds of the time, yet they can’t accurately predict what happens in their own country. What’s going on here?

Emotions, Culture, and Heart Disease

The relationship between expressing hostility and heart disease is a strong candidate for a psychological universal. Or is it?

I, Me, Mine

Americans, as a group, are becoming more individualistic. But what about people in other countries? In collectivist China, for example. Do they also have a Generation Me?

Thoughts Wandering in an Estonian Cemetery

Do Estonians, because of their surnames, feel more closely connected to nature? And what would happen if the dead wrote their own inscriptions on gravestones?

The Construction of National Identity: The Estonian Case

Personal identities and self-concepts are often shaped by the ways in which we differ from others. Is the same also true for ethnic and national identities?

Communication Styles in Estonia and the United States

Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate the communication style used by most Estonians. It’s liberating to know you don’t have to acknowledge everyone you see.

Are Muslim Arabs Especially Fatalistic?

Many commentators claim that Muslim Arabs are fatalistic, that they believe what happens in life is mostly beyond their control. Are these claims valid?

Creativity and Multicultural Experiences

In a recent study, children whose parents were born in different countries were generally more creative than children whose parents were born in the same country. The mystery is why.

Are Bilinguals Really Smarter?

Conventional wisdom says that individuals who speak more than one language are more adept cognitively than individuals who speak just one language. A new study, however, challenges the notion that bilingualism enhances cognitive control, despite a large number of studies showing just such an advantage. The alleged culprit? Publication bias.

Solving the Puzzle of National Differences in Self-Esteem

A well-documented finding in cultural psychology is that people in individualistic societies typically score higher on measures of self-esteem than people in collectivist societies. Less well understood are the reasons for this difference.
Where Is the Future?

Where Is the Future?

In spatial terms, where are the future and past located? The answer seems to depend on one’s language, one’s cultural values, and even one’s age.

How High Is Your Horizon?

A team of researchers crammed themselves into a classroom in Japan. They passed out art supplies to the students and said, “Draw a landscape with a horizon.” On the other side of the world, the same scene played out in a Canadian classroom. Later, the researchers closely examined one detail—the placement of the horizon line. Why?