Relational Mobility Predicts Social Behaviors in 39 Countries and Is Tied to Historical Farming and Threat

101 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2021

See all articles by Robert Thomson

Robert Thomson

Hokusei Gakuen University

Masaki Yuki

Hokkaido University - Graduate School of Economics & Business Administration

Thomas Talhelm

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Joanna Schug

College of William and Mary

Mie Kito

Meiji Gakuin University

Arin Ayanian

Bielefeld University

Julia Becker

Universität Osnabrück

Maja Becker

University of Toulouse

Chi-yue Chiu

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Psychology

Hoon-Seok Choi

Sungkyunkwan University

Carolina M. Ferreira

University of Castilla-La Mancha

Marta Fülöp

Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS)

Pelin Gul

University of Kent

Ana Maria Houghton-Illera

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Mihkel Joasoo

University of Tartu

Jonathan Jong

University of Oxford

Christopher Kavanagh

University of Oxford

Dmytro Khutkyy

National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA)

Claudia Manzi

Catholic University of Milan

Urszula M. Marcinkowska

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Taciano L. Milfont

Victoria University of Wellington

Félix Neto

Universidade do Porto

Timo Von Oertzen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ruthie Pliskin

Leiden University

Alvaro San Martin

University of Navarra, IESE Business School

Purnima Singh

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi

Mariko L. Visserman

VU University Amsterdam

Date Written: May 21, 2018

Abstract

Abstract: Biologists and social scientists have long tried to understand why some societies have more fluid and open interpersonal relationships, and how those differences influence culture. This study measures relational mobility, a socioecological variable quantifying voluntary (high relational mobility) versus fixed (low relational mobility) interpersonal relationships. We measure relational mobility in 39 societies and test whether it predicts social behavior. People in societies with higher relational mobility report more pro-active interpersonal behaviors (e.g., self-disclosure and social support) and psychological tendencies that help them build and retain relationships (e.g., general trust, intimacy, self-esteem). Finally, we explore ecological factors that could explain relational mobility differences across societies. Relational mobility was lower in societies that practiced settled, interdependent subsistence styles, such as rice farming, and in societies that had stronger ecological and historical threats.

Keywords: Relational mobility, subsistence style, ecological threats, culture, rice farming, rice agriculture

JEL Classification: Z1

Suggested Citation

Thomson, Robert and Yuki, Masaki and Talhelm, Thomas and Schug, Joanna and Kito, Mie and Ayanian, Arin and Becker, Julia and Becker, Maja and Chiu, Chi-yue and Choi, Hoon-Seok and Ferreira, Carolina M. and Fülöp, Marta and Gul, Pelin and Houghton-Illera, Ana Maria and Joasoo, Mihkel and Jong, Jonathan and Kavanagh, Christopher and Khutkyy, Dmytro and Manzi, Claudia and Marcinkowska, Urszula M. and Milfont, Taciano L. and Neto, Félix and Von Oertzen, Timo and Pliskin, Ruthie and San Martin, Alvaro and Singh, Purnima and Visserman, Mariko L., Relational Mobility Predicts Social Behaviors in 39 Countries and Is Tied to Historical Farming and Threat (May 21, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3769543 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3769543

Robert Thomson

Hokusei Gakuen University ( email )

2-3-1, Oyachi nishi, Atsubetsu-ku
Sapporo, 004-8631
Japan

Masaki Yuki

Hokkaido University - Graduate School of Economics & Business Administration ( email )

Kita-ku Kita 9 Nishi 7
Sapporo, Hokkaido, 060
Japan

Thomas Talhelm (Contact Author)

University of Chicago Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/faculty/directory/t/thomas-talhelm

Joanna Schug

College of William and Mary ( email )

P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23185
United States

Mie Kito

Meiji Gakuin University ( email )

Shirokane-dai 1-2-37, Minato-ku
Tokyo, Tokyo, 108 108-8636
United States

Arin Ayanian

Bielefeld University

Universitätsstraße 25
Bielefeld, NRW 33613
Germany

Julia Becker

Universität Osnabrück

Neuer Graben
Osnabrück, 49074
Germany

Maja Becker

University of Toulouse

41 Allées Jules Guesde - CS 61321
TOULOUSE
France

Chi-yue Chiu

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Psychology ( email )

603 East Daniel
Champaign, IL 61820
United States
217-265-5352 (Phone)

Hoon-Seok Choi

Sungkyunkwan University

53 Myeongnyun-dong 3-ga Jongno-ju
Guro-gu
Seoul, 110-745
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Carolina M. Ferreira

University of Castilla-La Mancha

Plaza Universidad, 1
02071 Albacete, Ciudad Real 13071
Spain

Marta Fülöp

Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS)

Budapest
Hungary

Pelin Gul

University of Kent

CT2 7NP
United Kingdom

Ana Maria Houghton-Illera

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Mihkel Joasoo

University of Tartu

Ülikooli 18
Tartu 50090, 50090
Estonia

Jonathan Jong

University of Oxford

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Christopher Kavanagh

University of Oxford

Dmytro Khutkyy

National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA)

vul. Voloska 10
04070 Kyiv, 04070
Ukraine

Claudia Manzi

Catholic University of Milan

1 Largo A. Gemelli
Milano (Milan), MI Milano 20123
Italy

Urszula M. Marcinkowska

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Taciano L. Milfont

Victoria University of Wellington

P.O. Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

Félix Neto

Universidade do Porto

Rua Dr. Roberto Frias
4200-464 Porto
Portugal

Timo Von Oertzen

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Ruthie Pliskin

Leiden University

Postbus 9500
Leiden, Zuid Holland 2300 RA
Netherlands

Alvaro San Martin

University of Navarra, IESE Business School

Avenida Pearson 21
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

Purnima Singh

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi

Hauz Khas
New Delhi, Delhi 110016
India

Mariko L. Visserman

VU University Amsterdam

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV
Netherlands

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