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Individualism and Good Works: Cultural Variation and Volunteering across the United States
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Building on previous research by Allik and Realo and Conway, Ryder, Tweed, and Sokol, the present study investigates whether cultural individualism is related to greater levels of prosocial behavior toward strangers. Focusing on regional variations within the United States, the authors found individualism to be positively related to charitable giving and volunteerism such that both were more likely to occur in more individualist states. Differentiating between different types of charitable causes, the authors found that cultural individualism was primarily related to giving to and volunteering for causes that were compatible with core individualist values, whereas no such relationship was found for religious causes and nonreligious cause that did not incorporate values of individualism.