Variance in Behavior by Country

cultur

The Country Similarity Index attempts to quantify how similar countries are to each other relative to other countries. The index is a statistically-based way to measure this. 20% of the index is based on culture. 20% of a country’s culture score (4% of the overall Country Similarity Index score) is allocated for general behavior. Behavior included 7 major statistics: Personality, Social Order, Charitable Activity, Homicide Rate, Suicide Rate, Drug Consumption, and Smoking Consumption. The following is an explanation on how they were calculated:

Personality

Although personality varies from person to person, the average personality of people in different countries can be quantified. The Lewis Model divides societies up into 3 major categories: Linear-Active, Multi-Active, and Reactive. Linear-Active societies are factual decisive step-by-step planners that do not show much emotion. Germany and Switzerland are the countries that most exhibit these traits. Multi-Active societies are emotional multi-taskers that are great at forging relationships. These traits most closely match Latin American countries. Finally, reactive societies are courteous listeners that are good at compromise. This is most widely seen in East Asian societies, especially in China and Vietnam.

The Lewis Model was the source of the data:
https://www.culture-catch.com/methods/the-model/

The countries were categorized into the following categories:
Linear-Active, Multi-Active, and Reactive (and gradients in between)

Social Order

There are different emotions that certain societies typically use to maintain social order. The 3 major categories are guilt, shame, and fear. In some cultures, an emphasis is put on an individual’s own guilty feelings and the weight on their conscience. This is most often seen in Western countries. In Far Eastern and Muslim countries, an emphasis is instead put on shame. This involves an individual questioning whether an action will bring honor or disgrace to themselves and their family. Finally, in rare cases, individuals most fear being physically hurt due to their actions.

The Honor-Shame Network was the source of the data:
http://honorshame.com/map/

The countries were categorized into the following categories:
Guilt, Shame, Fear (and gradients in between)

Charitable Activity

The World Giving Index indicates the degree to which the people of different countries help others. This includes donating money, helping strangers, and volunteering. It appears this varies greatly by country and does not seem to have a particular geographical, economic, or religious link. The three most giving countries were Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand, while the three least giving countries are China, Greece, and Yemen.

The Charities Aid Foundation was the source of the data: https://www.cafonline.org/docs/default-source/about-us-publications/caf_wgi2018_report_webnopw_2379a_261018.pdf

The countries were categorized into the following categories by the index’s score:
11-19%, 19-27%, 27-35%, 35-43%, 43-51%, 51-59%

Homicide Rate

There is much more violence in some countries than others. One indication of this is a country’s homicide rate. The Western Hemisphere and Africa generally have higher rates than Asia or Europe. El Salvador and Jamaica are the most dangerous, while Singapore and Japan are the least dangerous.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime was the source of the data:
https://dataunodc.un.org/crime/intentional-homicide-victims

The countries were categorized into the following categories by homicides per 100,000 inhabitants:
0-2, 2-4, 4-8, 8-16, 16-32, 32-64

Suicide Rate

In addition to the homicide rate, the suicide rate varies from country to country as well. However, it is not as correlated to geography as homicide rates are. Guyana and Lesotho have the highest rates of suicide, while The Bahamas and Jamaica have some of the lowest rates of suicide.

The World Health Organization was the source of the data:
https://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.MHSUICIDEASDR?lang=en  

The countries were categorized into the following categories by suicides per 100,000 inhabitants:
0-5, 5-10, 10-15, 15-20, 20-25, 25-30

Drug Habits

Another way that the behavior of countries varies is their drug habits. The Middle East and North Africa have some of the highest rates of drug use, despite extreme punishments for drug users and traffickers. Sub-Saharan Africa has some of the lowest rates of drug use. This is in part due to the fact that this area is poorer than others and as a result cannot afford to buy drugs in the first place.

The Global Change Data Lab was the source of the data:
https://ourworldindata.org/illicit-drug-use#prevalence-of-drug-use-disorders

The countries were categorized into the following categories by percentage of people with drug use disorders:
0.4-0.6%, 0.6%-0.8%, 0.8-1.2%. 1.2-1.6%, 1.6-2.2%, 2.2-3.0%

Smoking Habits

In general, the amount of smoking has declined rapidly over the past few decades. Still, there are many countries with high rates of smoking. In general, Eastern European countries have the highest rates, with Belarus having the highest. While Mauritania has the lowest rate of smoking in the world, in general, Sub-Saharan Africans tend to smoke the least amount of cigarettes.

The American Cancer Society was the source of the data:
https://tobaccoatlas.org/topic/consumption/

The countries were categorized into the following categories by average number of cigarettes smoked per year per person:
0-250, 250-500, 500-1000, 1000-1500, 1500-2250, 2250-3000 

Calculation Method

Countries in different categories get partial credit if they are close to other categories. See the following examples:

Example 1: A country with 49-51% of females compared to a country of 51-53% would score 9 out of 10 points, whereas a country with 49-51% of females compared to a country of 35-39% would score 6 out of 10 points.

Example 2: A country with an average age of 11.5-15 compared to a country with an average age of 46.5-50 would score 0 out of 10 points, whereas a country with an average age of 11.5-15 compared to a country with an average age of 39.5-43 would score 2 out of 10 points.

Obviously there is no one clear way to determine how similar one country is to another. How would you quantify how similar one country is to another?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.

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