A Research Paper by Dr. Krys and Dr. Uchida et al. Published in The Journal of Positive Psychology
A paper by Kuba Krys (JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow) and Yukiko Uchida (Associate Professor) et al. was published in The Journal of Positive Psychology on December 18, 2018. The title is “Open society fosters satisfaction: explanation to why individualism associates with country level measures of satisfaction”.
Numerous cross-country studies on societal satisfaction indicated its positive association with individualism. Up to now, however, remained unclear why members of individualistic societies report higher satisfaction. Polish-Japanese-American team of cultural psychologists analyzed data from over one hundred thousand individuals collected across over ninety countries, and proposes to search the answer in the specific facet of individualism – ‘open society’ attitudes.
‘Open society’ syndrome consists of four others-benefitting attitudes: tolerance, trust, civic engagement, and non-materialism. These four attitudes are based on seeking a good relationship between individuals and societies. Interestingly, ‘open society’ attitudes benefit society as a whole, but do not substantially promote individual satisfaction directly: individuals endorsing ‘open society’ attitudes are not considerably more satisfied than prejudiced, suspicious, and uninvolved in civic issues and materialistic members of the same society. Researchers also documented that if ‘open society’ is controlled for, societal satisfaction is associated with collectivism (and not individualism). Researchers concluded that sensitivity to others may be the key to satisfied society.
Open society fosters satisfaction: explanation to why individualism associates with country level measures of satisfaction
Kuba Krys, Yukiko Uchida, Shigehiro Oishi & Ed Diener
To cite this article: Kuba Krys, Yukiko Uchida, Shigehiro Oishi & Ed Diener (2018): Open society fosters satisfaction: explanation to why individualism associates with country level measures of satisfaction, The Journal of Positive Psychology
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2018.1557243
Although the association between individualism and satisfaction in societies is well documented,the precise mechanism linking these two remained understudied so far. Here we coin and describe the specific facet of individualism responsible for the above association–the ‘open society’. Open societies foster four others-benefitting attitudes: tolerance, trust, civic engagement, and minimization of materialistic pressure. In the others-benefitting qualities of these four attitudes, this paper finds the mechanism promoting life satisfaction of societies. Further, when open society attitudes are controlled for, the most common facet of individualism (quantified by Hofstede) turns out to be a negative predictor of satisfaction in societies. At the individual level of analysis, the relation of endorsement of four open society attitudes with individual life satisfaction is almost absent. Thus, open society promotes the satisfaction of communities in a eusocial way only.