Cultural Collectivism and Tightness Moderate Responses to Norm Violators: Effects on Power Perception, Moral Emotions, and Leader Support

Eftychia Stamkou, Gerben A. van Kleef, Astrid C. Homan, Michele J. Gelfand, Fons J.R. van de Vijver, Marieke C. van Egmond, Diana Boer, Natasha Phiri, Nailah Ayub, Zoe Kinias, Katarzyna Cantarero, Dorit Efrat Treister, Ana Figueiredo, Hirofumi Hashimoto, Eva Hofmann, Renata P. Lima, I-Ching Lee

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Responses to norm violators are poorly understood. On one hand, norm violators are perceived as powerful, which may help
them to get ahead. On the other hand, norm violators evoke moral outrage, which may frustrate their upward social mobility.
We addressed this paradox by considering the role of culture. Collectivistic cultures value group harmony and tight cultures
value social order. We therefore hypothesized that collectivism and tightness moderate reactions to norm violators. We
presented 2,369 participants in 19 countries with a norm violation or a norm adherence scenario. In individualistic cultures,
norm violators were considered more powerful than norm abiders and evoked less moral outrage, whereas in collectivistic
cultures, norm violators were considered less powerful and evoked more moral outrage. Moreover, respondents in tighter
cultures expressed a stronger preference for norm followers as leaders. Cultural values thus influence responses to norm
violators, which may have downstream consequences for violators’ hierarchical positions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)947 - 964
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502019 Marketing
  • 501003 Occupational psychology
  • 501006 Experimental psychology
  • 501021 Social psychology
  • 501015 Organisational psychology

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