International Study Shows Cultures Around World Becoming More “American”

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Text Analytics Poll: Among More than 15,500 people in 10 countries and eight languages shows cultures are multicultural

Cultural Differences and Similarities Visualized

When you ask people in countries around the world to describe their own culture in their own words, one nearly universal and unexpected attribute rises to the top: diversity/multiculturalism.

According to a survey of more than 15,500 people across 11 cultures, 10 countries and eight languages who were asked to describe their cultures in their own words to outsiders, many cultures not only now resemble each other in key areas, but the characteristics they have in common are most pronounced in American culture.

The survey collected responses to a single, fill-in-the-blank question from nationally representative general population samples* in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Australia, Mexico, Japan, Canada, and the U.S., which were then machine translated and analyzed by OdinText, a text analytics software platform that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify meaningful patterns in unstructured (text) data.

“Those who say that globalization is diluting and blending the cultures of the world into one global melting pot culture may not be so far off,” said OdinText managing partner Tom H. C. Anderson.

“When we think about culture, it’s often in terms of food, music, customs, etc., but it turns out that when you ask people in countries around the world to describe their own culture in their own words, one nearly universal and unexpected attribute rises to the top: diversity/multiculturalism,” Anderson said.

More than 15,500 comments collected for the poll were aggregated into an international culture average and broken out for comparison at the country level. Analysis of the data indicated that the greatest similarities between cultures are also key attributes/characteristics they share with American culture as described by U.S. respondents.

“The U.S. appears to occupy the center of the culture universe in our data, which may not be a coincidence, as American culture could in many ways be considered the original ‘melting pot’ model, and culture is a major U.S. export,” said Anderson.
Responses were subsequently analyzed for significant patterns of emotional sentiment, which suggested that people’s perceptions of their culture are also strongly influenced by current affairs.

“How people talk about their culture depends largely on circumstantial factors that one wouldn’t normally associate with culture. For instance, OdinText identified high levels of ‘anger’ in descriptions of American culture by Americans, which upon closer inspection appears connected to the outcome of the presidential election,” said Anderson.

Detailed results of the survey, including charts and additional data, have been published on the OdinText blog here. OdinText founder and managing partner Tom H.C. Anderson is available to answer questions and for interviews.

*Total sample of over n=15,500 contains at least n=1,500 responses per country (n=2,000 for Canada). Statistics at the country level have a confidence level of +/-1.7 or better at the 95% confidence interval.

OdinText is a patented SaaS (software-as-a-service) platform for natural language processing and advanced text analysis. Fortune 500 companies such as Disney and Shell Oil use OdinText to mine insights from complex, unstructured text data. The technology is available through the venture-backed Stamford, CT firm of the same name founded by CEO Tom H. C. Anderson, a recognized authority and pioneer in the field of text analytics with more than two decades of experience in market research. OdinText is the recipient of numerous awards for innovation from industry associations such as ESOMAR, CASRO, the ARF and the American Marketing Association. For more information, visit

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Tom H. C. Anderson
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