Open Society Fosters Satisfaction: Explanation to Why Individualism Associates with Country Level Measures of Satisfaction


Krys, K., Uchida, Y., Oishi, S., & Diener, E. (2019). Open Society fosters satisfaction: Explanation to why individualism associates with country level measures of satisfaction. Journal of Positive Psychology, 14, 768-778. doi:10.1080/17439760.2018.1557243


Although the association between individualism and satisfaction in societies is well documented, the precise mechanism linking these two remained understudied so far. Here we coin and describe the specific facet of individualism responsible for the above association–the ‘open society’. Open societies foster four others-benefitting attitudes: tolerance, trust, civic engage- ment, and minimization of materialistic pressure. In the others-benefitting qualities of these four attitudes, this paper finds the mechanism promoting life satisfaction of societies. Further, when open society attitudes are controlled for, the most common facet of individualism (quantified by Hofstede) turns out to be a negative predictor of satisfaction in societies. At the individual level of analysis, the relation of endorsement of four open society attitudes with individual life satisfac- tion is almost absent. Thus, open society promotes the satisfaction of communities in a eusocial way only.

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