Folk conceptions of humanness: Beliefs about distinctive and core human characteristics in Australia, Italy, and China

Paul Bain, Jeroen Vaes, Yoshihisa Kashima, Nick Haslam, Yanjun Guan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)


The present research explores cultural understandings of what it means to be human. We used open-ended responses to examine whether the most culturally salient aspects of humanness are captured by two theoretical dimensions: human uniqueness (HU) and human nature (HN). Australians, Italians, and Chinese (N = 315) showed differences in the characteristics considered human and in the emphasis placed on HU and HN. These findings contribute to developing cross-cultural folk psychological models of humanness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-58
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date26 Aug 2011
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • folk psychology
  • human nature
  • human uniqueness
  • humanness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology

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