Michelle Gelfand is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland and author of the new book Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire our World. The book, which is written for a popular audience, is based on a scientific study conducted by Gelfand in 33 countries in which she examines cultural norms around rule following.

As she explains, certain countries have a higher tolerance for norm and rules breaking than others–and these differences can have important consequences for international relations.

Dr. Gelfand’s study is a groundbreaking way to look at key cultural differences between countries. In this conversation we discuss what accounts for cultural proclivities for following rules, and what accounts for certain cultures to be more tolerant of deviance.

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