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A tight spot: How personality moderates the impact of social norms on sojourner adaptation

Geeraert, Nicolas and Li, Ren and Ward, Colleen and Gelfand, Michele and Demes, Kali (2019) 'A tight spot: How personality moderates the impact of social norms on sojourner adaptation.' Psychological Science. ISSN 0956-7976

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When living abroad, how do you navigate the norms of your new culture? Taking an interactionalist perspective, we examine how contextual factors and personality traits jointly affect sojourner's adaptation. We hypothesized that tightness (strong, rigidly imposed norms) of the host culture would be associated with lower levels of adaptation, and that tightness of the home culture would be associated with higher levels of adaptation. Further, we proposed that the impact of tightness should be dependent on personality traits associated with navigating social norms (agreeableness, conscientiousness, and honesty-humility). Longitudinal data were analyzed from intercultural exchange students (N = 889) travelling from and to 23 different countries. Multilevel Modeling showed that sojourners living in a tighter culture had poorer adaptation than those in a looser culture. In contrast, sojourners originating from a tighter culture showed better adaptation. The negative effect of cultural tightness was moderated by agreeableness and honesty-humility, but not conscientiousness.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: tightness–looseness, cultural adaptation, personality, social norms, sojourners
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2019 10:19
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2019 10:19

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