The norms that drive behavior: Implications for Cultural Mismatch Theory, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
In this commentary, we draw on two articles featured in this special issue to highlight the psychological and behavioral implications that the study of norms carries for underrepresented groups’ experience of fit and belonging in organizations. In particular, we discuss these implications with respect to our cultural mismatch theory of inequality. After outlining key tenets of cultural mismatch theory, we draw on Gelfand and Harrington’s (IN PRESS) discussion of the factors that increase the motivational force of norms. We argue that these same factors characterize underrepresented groups’ experiences of cultural mismatches, which should increase their reliance on norms. Next, drawing on Morris and Liu’s (2014) distinction between peer and aspirational norms, we argue that the consequences of increased reliance on norms for experiences of cultural mismatch depend on whether underrepresented groups rely on peer versus aspirational norms.
Nicole Stephens, Sarah S.M. Townsend
Stephens, Nicole, and Sarah S.M. Townsend. 2015. The norms that drive behavior: Implications for Cultural Mismatch Theory. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. 46: 1304-1306.