Culture Framework: Tight or Loose

COVID-19 tent at a Swedish hospital emergency entrance. (Wikimedia)

Shankar Vedamtam, NPR Hidden Brain host, interviewed Dr. Michele Gelfand, a psychologist at the University of Maryland about her framework of “tight” and “loose” cultures.

Tight cultures, she says, are more rules-oriented. Loose cultures are more permissive. “Countries like Japan, Singapore, Germany, and Austria tend to veer tight,” she says. “And countries like New Zealand, Brazil, the Netherlands, and Greece tended to veer loose. And of course, all countries have tight and loose elements.”
Her article “To Survive the Coronavirus, The United States Must Tighten Up”, published 3/15/2020 in the Boston Globe describes how the cultural norms of a culture directly impact the trajectory of the virus.

The empty Olympic stadium, Germany (Wikimedia).

How has your culture responded to coronavirus rules instituted to protect your country? Is it working?

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