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This article presents findings based on the outcomes of research conducted with 8,883 participants from 33 countries. It employs mixture modeling (latent profile analysis) to classify countries into latent classes. The country-level analyses are based on three social attitudes factor scores of Nastiness, Religiosity, and Morality. The results indicate that the main sources of cross-cultural differences are with respect to a broadly defined Conservatism/Liberalism. Three groups of societies—that is, “psychological continents”—appear to exist in the world today. They are as follows: (a) liberal European countries plus Canada and Australia; (b) conservative countries from South and South-East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America; and (c) all other countries, including the United States, Russia, and China, that are in between liberal and conservative groups. In addition, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, cognitive test performance, and governance indicators were found to be low in the most conservative group and high in the most liberal group.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Journal Article

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