All or nothing false
In laboratory tests in 10 different countries, people who thought that small lies were as socially unacceptable as big lies were more likely to make a big lie during the test. Similarly, in countries where large numbers of people say it is illegal to cheat on public transport, public benefits, and taxes, there is a lot of corruption and electoral fraud and a lot of hidden wealth. The idea here is that if little lies seem as bad as big lies, then you can be big if you lie.
Aycinena, D. et al., “Cultural Values and Infidelity in All Societies,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (August 2022).
Long term harvest
An analysis of data from China shows that regions with a history of rice farming experienced fewer cases of COVID-19 per capita from spring 2020 to early 2021, even after controlling for urban transportation and local economies, health care, and testing policies. A similar analysis found a similar pattern overseas: COVID cases and deaths in early 2021 were the lowest in rice-growing countries, even after controlling for demographic, economic, and political factors, and controlling for the number of tests and potential underreporting. These researchers show that rice-growing communities have strong cultural and social ties.
In international research, countries and peoples with ancestors of transhumant pastoralism (ie, pastoralists who do not live in the same place) tend to be indifferent, because they trust their close friends more than outsiders, especially in areas with a long history . drought or conflict. Researchers have also found that people with these parents are less friendly and cooperative. This appears to be a legacy of relying on a cohesive group to support and protect one another. There was no similar association between sedentary pastoralists and non-pastoral nomadic groups. The result of this legacy is that in countries with many generations of such ancestors – which are mainly located in North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia – businesses are often small and use narrow-minded methods of promotion.
Le Rossignol, E. & Lowes, S., “Great Values and Common Values: Evidence from Transhumant Pastoralist Societies,” National Bureau of Economic Research (July 2022).
Studies in several countries have found that heterosexual women who report having better sexual partners are more likely to view housework as fair and, therefore, to view the treatment of women in society as fair. To test whether this correlation reflects causation, researchers asked women to write about a bad day in their relationship or to justify their share of housework. Women who wrote about a bad day later viewed their share of housework as unfair, while women who were asked to justify their share of housework afterwards saw it as fair. This change in the fairness of their domestic work led to a corresponding change in women’s social justice practices.
Sobol-Sarag, D. et al., “The Paradox of (Romantic) Relationships: Same-Sex Relationships Can Drive Women’s Justification of the Gender Hierarchy,” Group Strategies & Group Relations (forthcoming).