Institutional Inversion and “Demand-Side” Versus “Supply-Side” Views of Culture

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Institutional inversion occurs when collective attitudes lead to institutions that in turn lead to behaviors that are the opposite of those attitudes. We illustrate this process with the case of debt, in which antidebtor attitudes in Protestant (vs. Catholic) cultures led to institutions that fostered higher household indebtedness. We describe three factors hypothesized to make institutional inversion more likely: erroneous lay theories (particularly those that take a “demand-side” vs. a “supply-side” view of culture), moralization, and narrow construals (in terms of time, goals, and populations considered).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-136
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • attitude-behavior relations
  • culture
  • debt
  • institutional inversion
  • religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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