WEIRD = Acronym for " W estern, E ucated, I ndustrialized, R ich and D emocratic
What caused Western cultures to produce people who are more individualist and nonconformist? Is being individualist and nonconformist preferable?
According to a study published just a few days ago in the journal Science it was the Western Catholic Church that (inadvertently) initiated the formation of this psychology by ending cousin marriages, sex with concubines/mistresses thus creating small nuclear, monogamous households replacing the larger family clans.
The article goes on to explain how this made Westerners less suspicious of strangers and therefore more welcoming. Without clan insistence of conformity, Westerners became nonconformists and more independent.