This paper provides a unique perspective for understanding cultural differences: representation similarity—a computational technique that uses pairwise comparisons of units to reveal their representation in higher-order space. By combining individual-level measures of trust across domains and well-being from 13,823 participants across 15 nations with a measure of society-level tightness–looseness, we found that any two countries with more similar tightness–looseness tendencies exhibit higher degrees of representation similarity in national interpersonal trust profiles. Although each individual's trust profile is generally similar to their nation's trust profile, the greater similarity between an individual's and their society's trust profile predicted a higher level of individual life satisfaction only in loose cultures but not in tight cultures. Using the framework of representation similarity to explore cross-cultural differences from a multidimensional, multi-national perspective provide a comprehensive picture of how culture is related to the human activities. Copyright © 2022 British Psychological Society.
CitationLuo, S., Li, L. M. W., Espina, E., Bond, M. H., Lun, V. M.-C., Huang, L., Duan, Q., & Liu, J. H. (2023). Individual uniqueness in trust profiles and well-being: Understanding the role of cultural tightness–looseness from a representation similarity perspective. British Journal of Social Psychology, 62(2), 825-844. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjso.12599
- Institutional trust
- Interpersonal trust
- Representation similarity