Author(s): Nisbett RE
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Abstract The U.S. South, and western regions of the U.S. initially settled by Southerners, are more violent than the rest of the country. Homicide rates for White Southern males are substantially higher than those for White Northern males, especially in rural areas. But only for argument-related homicides are Southern rates higher. Southerners do not endorse violence more than do Northerners when survey questions are expressed in general terms, but they are more inclined to endorse violence for protection and in response to insults. Southern subjects responded with more apparent anger to insults than did Northerners and were more likely to propose violent solutions to conflicts presented in scenarios after being insulted. The social matrix that produced this pattern may be the culture of honor characteristic of particular economic circumstances, including the herding society of the early South. Consistent with this possibility, the herding regions of the South are still the most violent.
This article was published in Am Psychol
and referenced in Journal of Socialomics