College students’ memory of the imposed social norm of their Texas high school: a replication of Gelfand’s tightness-looseness study
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Using Texas undergraduates’ memory of high school social norms (n = 88), I attempt to determine the replicability of Gelfand et al.’s (2011) research on the tightness-looseness scores of 33 nations. Tightness-looseness refers to a complex model in which cultural social norms are explicated. “Tight” cultures indicate strong social norms where members perceive larger pressures for conformity. These pressures result in higher levels of self-monitoring and regulation. Conversely, “loose” cultures signify weaker social norms and a higher tolerance for atypical conduct. My research confirms that the tightness-looseness model can be applied to school environments because my research revealed a tightness-looseness mean score of 4.3, which is near the midpoint of the six-point scale. Gelfand et al.’s (2011) research (n = 6,823) revealed that the United State had a tightness-looseness score, 5.4, which was near the middle of the range of scores for the 33 nation samples, which ranged from 1 to 12.3. However, my research discovered no significant effects of tightness-looseness on demographic variables, or on the Behavior or Situation Measures. These non-significant findings do not necessarily preclude the concepts discussed here from future research. Rather, future research should include comparison groups from different educational environments and a larger sample size reflective of Gelfand et al. (2011).