The culture we live in has an invisible influence over our individual and collective behaviors. The tendency towards openness or order in a society is expressed by Michele Gelfand, as the looseness or tightness of a culture. How loose or tight a country is can be correlated to the amount of threat the nation has faced in the past, and in turn, can indicate how its people will respond to a new threat, such as a global pandemic.
Michele Gelfand is Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Professor of Psychology by Courtesy at Stanford University. She wrote her book “Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: Tight and Loose Cultures and the Secret Signals That Direct Our Lives” in the era before COVID. Despite that she astutely addressed how tight and loose nations would respond to the threat of a global pandemic. We were honored to have the time to chat more with Michele about this topic and many others in this episode.
(5:49) Welcome and speed round questions.
(6:27) How culture influences our behavior.
(10:26) How the threat to a nation influences how tight and loose cultures are.
(13:21) What Bert and Ernie can teach us about our tight and loose personalities.
(16:27) What factors influence our default tendency to be tight or loose people?
(20:21) The global threat of the pandemic and how loose and tight cultures responded.
(28:48) What Ukraine has taught us about national identity.
(30:47) How can societies maximize both order and openness?
(35:02) Can organizations instigate flexible tightness?
(39:42) Do we have blind spots on how open we are?
(43:26) How values and attitudes influence your behaviors in different cultures.
(47:41) What nudge worked to encourage mask wearing among Republicans and Democrats?
(51:50) The music that influences Michele’s work.
© 2022 Behavioral Grooves
Michele Gelfand: www.michelegelfand.com
“Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: Tight and Loose Cultures and the Secret Signals That Direct Our Lives” book by Michele Gelfand: https://amzn.to/37O7OSC
Mindset Quiz: How tight or loose are you? www.michelegelfand.com/tl-quiz
Episode 266, Sandra Sucher, Trust: The Four Key Steps to Genuinely Build It: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/four-key-steps-to-build-trust/
Episode 102, Cristina Bicchieri, Social Norms are Bundles of Expectations: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/cristina-bicchieri-social-norms-are-bundles-of-expectations/
Oscar Peterson “C Jam Blues”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTJhHn-TuDY
Les McCann “A Bag of Gold”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50bGvY3Roj0
Dave Brubeck “Take Five”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmDDOFXSgAs
Bach “Brandenburg Concertos”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCPM8DEsvmc