Culture influences our behaviours in diverse ways. It is a method of living that encompasses our beliefs, ethics and even moral principles. This video examines how the strength of social norms and degrees of punishments within a culture, specifically referred to as the cultural tightness/looseness, influences populations’ behaviours such as how a population deals with collective threats, follows orders from medical professionals, and more importantly how it influences their mistrust/hesitancy in science.

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Author Details


  • Gelfand, M., Jackson, J., Pan, X., Nau, D., Pieper, D., & Denison, E. et al. (2021). The relationship between cultural tightness–looseness and COVID-19 cases and deaths: a global analysis. The Lancet Planetary Health, 5(3), e135-e144. doi: 10.1016/s2542-5196(20)30301-6
  • Gelfand, M. J., Raver, J. L., Nishii, L., Leslie, L. M., Lun, J., Lim, B. C., Duan, L., Almaliach, A., Ang, S., Arnadottir, J., Aycan, Z., Boehnke, K., Boski, P., Cabecinhas, R., Chan, D., Chhokar, J., D’Amato, A., Ferrer, M., Fischlmayr, I. C., Fischer, R., … Yamaguchi, S. (2011). Differences Between Tight and Loose Cultures: A 33-Nation Study. Science, 332(6033), 1100-1104. doi: 10.1126/science.1197754.
  • Komatsu, H., Rappleye, J., & Silova, I. (2019). Culture and the Independent Self: Obstacles to environmental sustainability? Anthropocene, 26, 100198.
  • S1 Appendix: Items of the Tightness-Looseness Scale. (N.D.). PLOS. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from
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