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Cross-cultural dimensions of meaning in the evaluation of events in world history? perceptions of historical calamities and progress in cross-cultural data from thirty societies
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • James H Liu, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Dario Paez, University of the Basue Country
  • Katja Hanke, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Alberto Rosa, Autonomous University of Madrid
  • Denis J Hilton, University of Toulouse
  • Chris G Sibley, University of Auckland
  • Rosa Cabecinhas, University of Minho
  • Franklin Zaromb, Washington University
  • Ilya E Garber, Saratov State Socio-economic University
  • Chan-Hoong Leong, National University of Singapore
  • Gail Moloney, Southern Cross University
  • Velichko Valchev, Tiburg University
  • Cecilia Gastardo-Conaco, University of the Philippines Diliman
  • Li-Li Huang, National Tsinghua University
  • Ai-Hwa Quek, University of Malaya-Kuala Lumpur
  • Elza Techio, Tiradentes University
  • Ragini Sen, Logistics
  • Yvette Van Osch, Tilburg University
  • Hamdi Muluk, University of Indonesia
  • Wolfgang Wagner, Johannes Kepler University of Linz
  • Feixue Wang, Sun-Yat-Sen University
  • Sammyh S Khan, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Laurent Licata, Universite Libre de Bruxelles
  • Olivier Klein, Universite Libre de Bruxelles
  • Janos Laszlo, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Marta Fulop, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Jacky Chau-kiu Cheung, City University of Hong Kong
  • Xiaodong Yue, City University of Hong Kong
  • Samia Ben Youssef, Tunisia
  • Uichol Kim, Inha University
  • Youngshin Park, Inha University
  • Jen Puch-Bouwman, University of the South Pacific
  • Katayoun Hassall, University of the South Pacific
  • John Adair, University of Manitoba
  • Lauren Unik, University of Manitoba
  • Dario Spini, University of Lausanne
  • Karine Henchoz
  • Gisela Bohm, University of Bergen
  • Marcus Selart, NHH
  • Hans-Peter Erb, Helmut Schmidt University
  • Deborah Felicitas Thoben, Helmut Schmidt University
  • Giovanna Leone, University of Rome
  • Tiziana Mastrovito, University of Rome
  • Tomahide Atsumi, Osaka University
  • Ko-ichi Suwa, Osaka University
Document Type
Publication Date
Peer Reviewed
The universality versus culture specificity of quantitative evaluations (negative-positive) of 40 events in world history was addressed using World History Survey data collected from 5,800 university students in 30 countries/societies. Multidimensional scaling using generalized procrustean analysis indicated poor fit of data from the 30 countries to an overall mean configuration, indicating lack of universal agreement as to the associational meaning of events in world history. Hierarchical cluster analysis identified one Western and two non-Western country clusters for which adequate multidimensional fit was obtained after item deletions. A two-dimensional solution for the three country clusters was identified, where the primary dimension was historical calamities versus progress and a weak second dimension was modernity versus resistance to modernity. Factor analysis further reduced the item inventory to identify a single concept with structural equivalence across cultures, Historical Calamities, which included man-made and natural, intentional and unintentional, predominantly violent but also nonviolent calamities. Less robust factors were tentatively named as Historical Progress and Historical Resistance to Oppression. Historical Calamities and Historical Progress were at the individual level both significant and independent predictors of willingness to fight for one’s country in a hierarchical linear model that also identified significant country-level variation in these relationships. Consensus around calamity but disagreement as to what constitutes historical progress is discussed in relation to the political culture of nations and lay perceptions of history as catastrophe.
Citation Information

Liu, JH, Paez, D, Hanke, K, Rosa, A, Hilton, DJ, Sibley, CG, Cabecinhas, R, Zaromb, F, Garber, IE, Leong, C-H, Moloney, G, Valchev, V, Gastardo-Conaco, C, Huang, L-L, Quek, A-H, Techio, E, Sen, R, van Osch, Y, Muluk, H, Wagner, W, Wang, F, Khan, SS, Licata, L, Klein, O, Laszlo, J, Fulop, M, Cheung, JC-K, Yue, X, Youssef, SB, Kim, U, Park, Y, Puch-Bouwman, J, Hassall, K, Adair, J, Unik, L, Spini, D, Henchoz, K, Bohm, G, Selart, M, Erb, H-P, Thoben, DF, Leone, G, Mastrovito, T, Atsumi, T & Suwa, K 2012, 'Cross-cultural dimensions of meaning in the evaluation of events in world history? perceptions of historical calamities and progress in cross-cultural data from thirty societies', Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 251-272.

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