American psychological isolationism


Review of General Psychology

2012, vol. 16, n°4, pp.381-390

Departments: Management & Human Resources

Keywords: American culture, Protestantism, Implicit puritanism, Moral values, Isolationism

The United States possesses a distinctive cultural mindset characterized by a lack of regard for and even lack of awareness of the perspectives of other countries, coupled with a passionate desire to spread American values throughout the world. We term this mindset American psychological isolationism. Like American moral values more generally, this psychological outlook has its roots in America's unique religious and cultural history. The American Puritans' religious zeal contributes to America's ideological self-certainty and lack of regard for the values of others. At the same time, America's sense of divine mission in spreading its values, whether other countries like it or not, is traceable to the Puritans' view of themselves as a “shining city on a hill” destined to save all the world