He may share his birthday with World Smile Day, but it’s rare you’ll catch Vladimir Putin with a grin on his face.
People from Russia – as well as countries like Iran and France – don’t smile as much as others – and there are some key societal reasons for that.
Kuba Krys, a psychologist at the Polish Academy of Sciences, recently published a paper about “uncertainty avoidance”.
A bad explanation for this term is the assumption that people from some societies feel anxiety around situations that are uncertain.
This is a characteristic found more frequently in societies which are politically repressed, where schooling is respected and structured especially around sciences and where strong social norms are preferred. In addition, corruption tends to be a little more prevalent and civil services tend to be a bit more unstable. Read more