Eriksson, Kimmo , Hazin, Isabela , Vartanova, Irina , Strimling, Pontus | 2022
Current research in ecological and social psychology, vol 3
The tightness of a society is defined as the strength of social norms and the degree of sanctioning within the society. However, a society's tightness may vary across behavioral domains. A recent global survey found that Sweden is generally perceived as relatively tight, even though it is known to be very permissive with respect to sexual relations and gender roles. Here we examine perceptions of the tightness of Sweden and the United States in six other domains. We find that Sweden is perceived as tighter than the US specifically with respect to norms about how people may talk about other groups and norms about considerate behavior in public. These domain-specific differences partially mediate the country difference in perceived overall tightness. In sum, this study demonstrates how domain-specific tightness may be measured and highlights the value of such measures to obtain a more nuanced picture of how tightness varies across countries.