Perceived cultural superiority and need for protection of culture

At the outset, I must admit the idea for this post is not my own. In fact, even the idea to do a scatter plot between these two variables is not mine. It’s from IESE Business School Professor Pankaj Ghemawat‘s book “World 3.0”. The original plot can be seen here:

Source: Pankaj Ghemawat’s World 3.0


While the graph above might be appropriate for a book (given its size, etc.) it’s not particularly well drawn. For example, circles are drawn around some countries (represents their population), which makes it harder to read. Then, there are the arrows which are not self-sufficient (without any accompanying text, which is probably there in the book, there is no way you can make sense of the arrows). Then you have some countries with a perceived need for cultural protection at over 100%.

So when Prof Ghemawat shared the data source (on twitter), I thought it might make sense to re-draw the graph. As you can see below (click for a larger version of the graph)  the new graph is also far from perfect. Since I’ve used full names of countries (easier without accompanying text than three-letter codes), there is significant overlap. Yet, I think it does better in conveying the information. In place of Ghemawat’s arrows, I have a regression line!

Source: Pew Survey on Global Attitudes 2007
Source: Pew Survey on Global Attitudes 2007


The insight is clear (was clear in the earlier graph also) – the greater the citizens of a country believe in the superiority of their own culture, the greater is their perceived need for “cultural protection”.

PS: Note that the data is from 2007. I’ll try to get more recent data and re-plot presently.

One thought on “Perceived cultural superiority and need for protection of culture”

  1. Isn’t the conclusion obvious? I’d more to protect my gold ornaments and not a tube of toothpaste.

    Btw, would you know how these some what related parameters are being measured?

    What matters more is to know how much each country invests in preserving/ protecting the culture. That will spread this linear correlation into a nice 2 by 2. India probably will be in the bottom right. US probably in the top left. Bhutan probably in the top right.

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