Cultural Neurosciences: East Asians and Collectivism

Way and Matthew D. Lieberman, 2010. ‘Is there a genetic contribution to cultural differences? Collectivism, individualism and genetic markers of social sensitivity’

Here, we review recent work that has demonstrated a robust cross-national correlation between the relative frequency of variants in these genes and the relative degree of individualism–collectivism in each population, suggesting that collectivism may have developed and persisted in populations with a high proportion of putative social sensitivity alleles because it was more compatible with such groups. Consistent with this notion, there was a correlation between the relative proportion of these alleles and lifetime prevalence of major depression across nations. The relationship between allele frequency and depression was partially mediated by individualism–collectivism, suggesting that reduced levels of depression in populations with a high proportion of social sensitivity alleles is due to greater collectivism. These results indicate that genetic variation may interact with ecological and social factors to influence psychocultural differences.

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One Response to Cultural Neurosciences: East Asians and Collectivism

  1. Pingback: Interpretation in Philosophy and Politics « Occidental Ascent

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