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In 2010, three psychologists from the University of British Columbia published a paper with an intriguing title: The WEIRDest people in the world? Paradoxically, the paper was about Americans. The three scientists had devoted their research careers to cross-cultural variability of human psychology and traveled the seven seas to study small-scale tribal societies. In the paper, they voiced a growing concern about how heavily the humanities — psychology, economics, sociology, political science and others — were relying on samples of Americans. From lab experiments to panel studies, by and large, data collection from people meant data collection from American people.

The rich, the poor and the barely surviving

In science, to say that you learned something about people should imply that you have randomly sampled people around the globe, not just from one country. Voluminous evidence shows how differently people think and behave across the world’s cultures — from strategies in financial games to basic cognition, e.g., spatial orientation or susceptibility to visual illusions.

But if you are sampling from only one country, your best bet is to not sample