WEIRD Science

Professor Michael Gurven's research on the Tsimane people has been featured in The Current. His research reveals that the two broad dimensions of personality found in the Tsimane people are prosociality and industriousness. The findings of his research questions the universality and representativeness of the "Big Five" personality traits (openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness, extraversion, and neuroticism) we use to characterize people, at least in Western society. It also draws attention to the fact that the majority of research done in top developmental psychology journals focuses on participants from the aptly named WEIRD or Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democracies. Gurven emphasizes the importance of taking into account cultural differences when studying populations and that not doing so hurts the quality of the research especially when we expect humans everywhere to react the same way in a given experiment.

Read more about Professor Gurven and his exciting research here.