Both the validity of the cultural tightness index and the association with creativity and order are spurious – a comment on Jackson et al

by   Alexander Koplenig, et al.

It was recently suggested in a study published in Nature Human Behaviour that the historical loosening of American culture was associated with a trade-off between higher creativity and lower order. To this end, Jackson et al. generate a linguistic index of cultural tightness based on the Google Books Ngram corpus and use this index to show that American norms loosened between 1800 and 2000. While we remain agnostic toward a potential loosening of American culture and a statistical association with creativity/order, we show here that the methods used by Jackson et al. are neither suitable for testing the validity of the index nor for establishing possible relationships with creativity/order.


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