Culture and National Well-Being: Should Societies Emphasize Freedom or Constraint?

J.R. Harrington , Paweł Boski , Michele Gelfand

Abstract

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.
Author J.R. Harrington
J.R. Harrington,,
-
, Paweł Boski (Wydział Psychologii)
Paweł Boski,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, Michele Gelfand
Michele Gelfand,,
-
Journal seriesPlos One, ISSN 1932-6203, (A 35 pkt)
Issue year2015
Pages1-14
Publication size in sheets0.65
ASJC Classification1100 General Agricultural and Biological Sciences; 1300 General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology; 2700 General Medicine
DOIDOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0127173
URL http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0127173
Languageen angielski
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Culture-andNationalwellbeing.pdf of 14-09-2015
2.36 MB
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BROWN_IR-ADV5255_16_0106_001-14.pdf 21.64 KB
Score (nominal)40
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2015 = 1.136; WoS Impact Factor: 2015 = 3.057 (2) - 2015=3.535 (5)
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Dorobek Naukowy - Preview URLhttp://dn.swps.edu.pl/Podglad.aspx?WpisID=17950
Dorobek Naukowy - Approve URLhttp://dn.swps.edu.pl/Biuro/ZatwierdzanieWpisu.aspx?WpisID=17950
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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