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DySoC/NIMBioS Seminar Series

DySoC and NIMBioS are hosting a series of seminars on topics related to social complexity. Monthly seminars will be held at NIMBioS in Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd. (unless otherwise noted). Light refreshments will be served in Room 205 beginning 30 minutes before each talk. Faculty and students from across the UT community are welcome to join us.


M. Gelfand photo.

Speaker: Michele Gelfand, Psychology, Univ. of Maryland

Time/Date: Thursday, April 25, 2019, 3:30 p.m.*

Location: Strong Hall Auditorium 101

Topic: Rule makers, rule breakers: How tight and loose cultures wire our world.

Abstract: Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland Michele Gelfand will discuss her new book, Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World. Her pioneering research into cultural norms has been cited thousands of times in the academic press, and has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, Harvard Business Review, and on NPR, among other outlets. As a cultural psychologist, Dr. Gelfand takes us on an epic journey through human cultures, offering a startling new view of the world and ourselves. With a mix of brilliantly conceived studies and surprising on-the-ground discoveries, she shows that much of the diversity in the way we think and act derives from a key difference—how tightly or loosely we adhere to social norms. Why are clocks in Germany so accurate while those in Brazil are frequently wrong? Why do New Zealand's women have the highest number of sexual partners? Why are "Red" and "Blue" States really so divided? Why is the driver of a Jaguar more likely to run a red light than the driver of a plumber's van? Why does one spouse prize running a "tight ship" while the other refuses to "sweat the small stuff?"

In search of a common answer, Gelfand has spent two decades conducting research in more than fifty countries. Across all age groups, family variations, social classes, businesses, states and nationalities, she's identified a primal pattern that can trigger cooperation or conflict. Her fascinating conclusion: behavior is highly influenced by the perception of threat. She discusses the tight-loose trade-off of order and openness and how it applies to everything from parenting to politics.

*Book signing to follow. Books will be available for sale at the event.

Seminar Flyer (pdf)

This seminar will not be streamed live or recorded.

For more information about this and other NIMBioS Seminars, visit http://www.nimbios.org/announcements/seminars.



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NIMBioS is supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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