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Cultures can change, Gelfand noted. For example the United States tends to be a less restrictive society, but after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, there was a discussion about more rules and tighter restrictions were imposed at airports and elsewhere.

Their rankings of the 33 countries studied, from “tightest to loosest” were:

Pakistan, Malaysia, India, Singapore, South Korea, Norway, Turkey, Japan, China, Portugal, former East Germany, Mexico, United Kingdom, Austria, Italy, former West Germany, Iceland, France, Hong Kong, Poland, Belgium, Spain, United States, Australia, Greece, New Zealand, Venezuela, Brazil, Netherlands, Israel, Hungary, Estonia and Ukraine.

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Online: http://www.sciencemag.org