Farming cultivates a community-level shared culture through collective activities: Examining contextual effects with multilevel analyses.

It has been suggested that the well-known cultural differences in interdependence across cultures are linked to economic activities, such as farming. However, the underlying processes of how such psychological tendencies are shared among people in a society has not been sufficiently investigated. This article addresses the multilevel processes of how psychological characteristics are shared among people. We focus on collective activities that go beyond the individual’s personal economic activities. Multilevel analyses on a large-scale survey (residents of Japanese communities, N = 7,295) of 408 communities, along with a follow-up survey (N = 1,714) of 86 communities, suggested that “concern for reputation” (one aspect of interdependence) was more prevalent in farming communities than in nonfarming communities, not only for farmers, but also for nonfarmers. Furthermore, multilevel mediational analyses suggested that, (a) the proportion of farmers in a community was positively associated with participation in collective activities (e.g., maintenance of community infrastructure) by both farmers and nonfarmers, and (b) this is in turn associated with increased levels of concern for reputation at the community level. Community-level longitudinal analyses revealed that collective activities promoted residents’ concern for reputation about two years later. These findings support our “collective activity” hypothesis, and demonstrate that interdependence can be constructed through social interaction via community activities. Fishing was associated with high levels of self-esteem and risk avoidance, and these effects were found only at the individual level. We conclude that economic activities affect social interaction, which in turn affects the multilevel processes of cultural emergence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)