Stanford Psychology Podcast
Stanford Psychology Podcast
126 - Michele Gelfand: Culture and Conflict

126 - Michele Gelfand: Culture and Conflict

Eric chats with Michele Gelfand, Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Michele’s culture lab studies the strength of cultural norms, negotiation, conflict, revenge, forgiveness, and diversity, drawing on many different disciplines. Michele is world-renowned for her work on how some cultures have stronger enforcement of norms (tight cultures), while others are more tolerant of deviations from the norm (loose cultures). She is the author of Rule Makers, Rule Breakers.

In this chat, Eric and Michele discuss the latest insights into loose and tight cultures, what academic disciplines are tight versus loose, and how this framework explains phenomena as disconnected as Covid fears, the appeal of populist leaders, and why Ernie and Bert have so many disagreements. Michele then shares how she stays so passionate and productive, the barriers she has faced trying to be so interdisciplinary, how she deals with setbacks, and why she sometimes dresses up as a pickle.

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How tight or loose are you?

Tight vs loose cultures:

Culture, threat, tightness and looseness:

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