Proximal and distal honor fit and subjective well-being in the Mediterranean region

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Objective: People's psychological tendencies are attuned to their sociocultural context and culture-specific ways of being, feeling, and thinking are believed to assist individuals in successfully navigating their environment. Supporting this idea, a stronger “fit” with one's cultural environment has often been linked to positive psychological outcomes. The current research expands the cultural, conceptual, and methodological space of cultural fit research by exploring the link between well-being and honor, a central driver of social behavior in the Mediterranean region. Method: Drawing on a multi-national sample from eight countries circum-Mediterranean (N = 2257), we examined the relationship between cultural fit in honor and well-being at the distal level (fit with one's perceived society) using response surface analysis (RSA) and at the proximal level (fit with one's university gender group) using profile analysis. Results: We found positive links between fit and well-being in both distal (for some, but not all, honor facets) and proximal fit analyses (across all honor facets). Furthermore, most fit effects in the RSA were complemented with positive level effects of the predictors, with higher average honor levels predicting higher well-being. Conclusions: Our findings highlight the interplay between individual and environmental factors in honor as well as the important role honor plays in well-being in the Mediterranean region.