Title

Diversity of Historical Ancestry and Personality Traits Across 56 Cultures

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-2018

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Prior research has found that the diversity of a culture's ancestry over the previous 500 years—its historical heterogeneity—has an impact on existing cultural differences in social behavior in adaptive ways. The present paper examined whether historical heterogeneity, which reflects the degree to which a culture's population has a long-term legacy of interacting with people from different cultural backgrounds, would be related to individual personality traits in that culture. Using a large sample of respondents from a variety of world cultures, the results found that historical heterogeneity was associated with greater openness to experience. The findings suggest that openness to experience may have been socialized more strongly in diverse societies because this trait promotes tolerance of differences and facilitates cooperation. These results highlight the importance of considering social–historical factors in understanding the origin of cultural traits.

Publication Title

Personality and Individual Differences

Volume

128

First Page

44

Last Page

48

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