Cultural fit and life satisfaction: Endorsement of cultural values predicts life satisfaction only in collectivistic societies
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The current research examined the effect of cultural fit, or the congruence between values that individuals endorse and values that are normative in their culture, as a predictor of life satisfaction. In a large international data set drawn from the World Values Survey (Study 1), the effect of cultural fit was found in collectivistic societies but not in individualistic societies. While the endorsement of collectivistic values was predictive of life satisfaction in collectivistic societies, the reverse effect in individualistic societies, the endorsement of individualistic values predicting well-being, was not found. Study 2 examined these effects with a more comprehensive set of individualistic and collectivistic values administered to Chinese and Western participants. Findings replicated those in Study 1 in that the effect of cultural fit was observed only among Chinese participants. The asymmetric pattern of the results may reflect diverging ways of approaching culturally valued goals.
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