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National Character


National character stereotypes; National characteristics


National character refers to shared beliefs or perceptions of personality characteristics common to members of a particular nation held by the members of the nation or by any other group of people.


The nations and ethnic groups, just like individuals, are often perceived to have a distinct character which can be described by a set of specific personality traits. Such shared beliefs of personality traits typical to people of a particular nation are called national character or national character stereotypes. National character is a narrower term than national stereotypes which also include beliefs about different physical features, mental abilities, specific skills, or preferences. They are called stereotypes because such beliefs, even if widely shared, are often overgeneralized or inaccurate and do not apply to every member of a nation.

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Correspondence to Anu Realo .

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Realo, A., Allik, J. (2020). National Character. In: Zeigler-Hill, V., Shackelford, T.K. (eds) Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer, Cham.

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