Q:

Does culture shape personality?

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Quick Answer

Culture shapes personality in a number of ways, including a tendency for either individualism or collectivism, the fostering of "masculine" or "feminine" values and a proclivity for judging others. For example, a University of Michigan study in 2011 found the latter personality trait to be more prevalent among Americans of European descent than those of Asian descent.

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Full Answer

Geert Hofstede, a prominent Dutch sociologist, made a distinction between societies that foster "masculine" and "feminine" personality types. He characterized the former as assertive and competitive, as exemplified by Germans and Americans, while the latter, more understanding or nurturing types, are common in more socialist Scandinavian cultures.

Individualism and collectivism as personality traits tend to be fostered by Western and Eastern, or less developed countries, respectively.

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