Culture and National Well-Being: Should Societies Emphasize Freedom or Constraint?
- J.R. Harrington,
- Paweł Boski,
- Michele Gelfand
Throughout history and within numerous disciplines, there exists a perennial debate about how societies should best be organized. Should they emphasize individual freedom and autonomy or security and constraint? Contrary to proponents who tout the benefits of one over the other, we demonstrate across 32 nations that both freedom and constraint exhibit a curvilinear relationship with many indicators of societal well-being. Relative to moderate nations, very permissive and very constrained nations exhibit worse psychosocial outcomes (lower happiness, greater dysthymia, higher suicide rates), worse health outcomes (lower life expectancy, greater mortality rates from cardiovascular disease and diabetes) and poorer economic and political outcomes (lower gross domestic product per capita, greater risk for political instability). This supports the notion that a balance between freedom and constraint results in the best national outcomes. Accordingly, it is time to shift the debate away from either constraint or freedom and focus on both in moderation.
- Record ID
- Journal series
- Plos One, ISSN 1932-6203
- Issue year
- Publication size in sheets
- ASJC Classification
- ; ;
- DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0127173 opening in a new tab
- http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0127173 opening in a new tab
- (en) English
- Additional file
- Score (nominal)
- Publication indicators
- : 2015 = 1.136; : 2015 = 3.057 (2) - 2015=3.535 (5)
- Additional fields
- Dorobek Naukowy - Preview URL: http://dn.swps.edu.pl/Podglad.aspx?WpisID=17950
- Dorobek Naukowy - Approve URL: http://dn.swps.edu.pl/Biuro/ZatwierdzanieWpisu.aspx?WpisID=17950
- Uniform Resource Identifier
* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perishopening in a new tab system.