SEMINAR: Prof Michele Gelfand – Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire our World

Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire our World

October 19th, 12.30 – 13.30, John Snow

Prof Michele Gelfand
Distinguished University Professor (University of Maryland)
Board Member – National Academy of Sciences
Founding co-editor of the Advances in Culture and Psychology Annual Series and the Frontiers of Culture and Psychology Series

Why are clocks in Germany so accurate while those in Brazil are frequently wrong? Why do New Zealand’s women have the highest number of sexual partners? Why are “Red” and “Blue” States really so divided? Why was the Daimler-Chrysler merger ill-fated from the start? Why is the driver of a Jaguar more likely to run a red light than the driver of a plumber’s van? Why does one spouse prize running a “tight ship” while the other refuses to “sweat the small stuff?”

In search of a common answer, Gelfand has spent two decades conducting research in more than fifty countries. Across all age groups, family variations, social classes, businesses, states and nationalities, she’s identified a primal pattern that can trigger cooperation or conflict. Her fascinating conclusion: behaviour is highly influenced by the perception of threat.

About Michele

Michele Gelfand uses field, experimental, computational and neuroscience methods to understand the evolution of culture and its multilevel consequences for human groups. Her work has been cited over 20,000 times and has been featured in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, National Public Radio, Voice of America, Fox News, NBC News, ABC News, The Economist, among other outlets. She received the 2017 Outstanding International Psychologist Award from the American Psychological Association, the 2016 Diener award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and the Annaliese Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Her website is and Wiki is:

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