Johannesburg 15th October Shalom all - it is always a pleasure to host the Zionist Club Luncheon; especially today as we have a very special guest-speaker. Rudo's resume runs into pages Dr Mathivha has spent a number of years studying in the US, presented and published numerous research papers and articles, both locally and internationally.
But do countries really have their own distinct personalities? When psychologists have given the same personality test to hundreds or thousands of people from different nations, they have indeed found that the average scores tend to come out differently across cultures.
In other words, the average personality in one country often really is different from the average personality in another. Crucially, these average differences in personality between nations are not the same as the stereotypes we hold.
Although we tend to agree with each other about what the typical personality type is in a given country, including our own, the research suggests that our assumptions are often wide of the mark. View image of Personality Several large international studies have now documented cross-cultural differences in average personality.
One of the most extensive was published in by Robert McCrae and 79 collaborators around the world, who profiled more than 12, college students from 51 cultures. Brazilians, French Swiss and the Maltese scored highest on measures of Extraversion, while the lowest scoring were Nigerians, Moroccans and Indonesians The highest scoring cultural groups for Extraversion on average were Brazilians, French Swiss and the Maltese, while the lowest scoring were Nigerians, Moroccans and Indonesians.
The study also uncovered variation between countries in the three other main personality traits of Neuroticism, Conscientiousness and Agreeableness.
There are also complications and controversies around how to interpret these kind of results, such as the huge challenge of ensuring that personality questionnaires are translated to mean exactly the same thing to participants in all the different cultures, and that the samples in each culture are truly representative of that culture.
Last year, Katherine Corker at Kenyon College and colleagues demonstrated that small but non-trivial differences in the average personality scores between students at different US universities, thus showing the risks of inferring too much about an entire country from a single sample.
International studies of personality have also shown that while average trait levels vary between cultures, the basic structure of personality, organised into five main traits, seems to be a universal. Consider another huge study of cross-cultural personality differences, led by David Schmitt at Bradley University and published inthat involved over 17, people from 56 different nations around the world.
Again, between-nation variation emerged in average personality. For example, the highest average scores for trait Neuroticism were found in Japan and Argentina while the lowest were found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Slovenia.
Meanwhile, the highest scoring nations for Agreeableness, on average, were the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Jordan, while Japan and Lithuania scored the lowest. People in Africa tended to score higher on trait Conscientiousness than people from all other world regions This study also looked at similarities in average personality across supra-national regions, finding for example, that people in Africa tended to score higher on trait Conscientiousness than people from all other world regions, while people in East Asia tended to score lower.
Take the trait of Extraversion. Here in the UK most of us would probably say that the average English person is far more reserved than the average American.
But these kinds of national personality stereotypes are rarely accurate in fact, the culture study described above found that average Extraversion was higher in England than in the USA; the culture study found that Americans edged it, but with very little difference between the two countries.
For the latest World Happiness Report, a yearly ranking from the United Nations that assesses a country's average well-being by looking at its income, healthy life expectancy, social support. Human migration is the movement by people from one place to another with the intentions of settling, permanently or temporarily in a new location. The movement is often over long distances and from one country to another, but internal migration is also possible; indeed, this is the dominant form globally. People may migrate as individuals, in family units or in large groups. Whether it’s the caricature of the introverted English, the brash Americans or the industrious Japanese, national stereotypes are easy to come by.
Early in the s, in one of the first comparisons of national stereotypes with real national personality differences, Robert McCrae tested the assumptions about national personality held by a group of people who arguably ought to know better than most: McCrae presented a panel of eight of these experts with a list of 26 different world cultures for which he had average personality data.
Then for each of each of the five main personality traits, McCrae asked the experts to organise the cultures into lists according to the seven highest- and lowest-scoring. Compared with the actual personality data, the experts performed no better than if they had simply been guessing.
The rest of us seem to fare no better.
InAntonio Terracciano and his colleagues asked nearly 4, participantsmostly college students, from 49 cultures across six continents to estimate the average personality profile of a person from their own culture.
A more recent study published in involving over 3, participants in 26 nations came to a similar conclusion. View image of Personality An isolated population is likely to become more introverted and inward focused through the generations as bolder individuals are more likely to choose to emigrate What could explain these national differences in average personality?
The reasons are likely partly genetic, perhaps to do with historic migration patterns.Whether it’s the caricature of the introverted English, the brash Americans or the industrious Japanese, national stereotypes are easy to come by.
A closer look at why Venezuela's economy is falling apart and forcing millions of its people out. For the latest World Happiness Report, a yearly ranking from the United Nations that assesses a country's average well-being by looking at its income, healthy life expectancy, social support.
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