Definition: This acronym refers to Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic societies. Most research is conducted on, and conducted by, relatively homogeneous samples from WEIRD societies. This limits the generalizability of a large number of research findings, particularly given that WEIRD people are often psychological outliers. It has been argued that “WEIRD psychology ” started to evolve culturally as a result of societal changes and religious beliefs in the Middle Ages in Europe. Critics of this term suggest it presents a binary view of the global population and erases variation that exists both between and within societies, and that other aspects of diversity are not captured.

Related terms: Bias, <a href='/glossary/bizarre/'>BIZARRE</a>, <a href='/glossary/diversity/'>Diversity</a>, <a href='/glossary/generalizability/'>Generalizability</a>, Populations, Sampling bias, <a href='/glossary/strange/'>STRANGE</a>

References: Henrich (2020), Henrich et al. (2010), Muthukrishna et al., (2020), & Syed and Kathawalla (2020)

Drafted and Reviewed by: Mahmoud Elsherif, Zoe Flack, Matt Jaquiery, Bettina M. J. Kern, Adam Parker, Charlotte R. Pennington, Robert M. Ross, Suzanne L. K. Stewart

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