The Weirdest People in the World?
Authors: Joseph Henrich, Steven J. Heine and Ara Norenzayan [all of whom are pictured here]
Behavioral scientists routinely publish broad claims about human psychology and behavior in the world’s top journals based on samples drawn entirely from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (WEIRD) societies. Researchers—often implicitly—assume that either there is little variation across human populations, or that these “standard subjects” are as representative of the species as any other population. Are these assumptions justified? … we need to be less cavalier in addressing questions of human nature on the basis of data drawn from this particularly thin, and rather unusual, slice of humanity.
— so says a call for commentary on a soon-to-be-published paper.
(Thanks to investigator Mark Dionne for bringing this to our attention.)