Lack of knowledge of a culture's social axioms and adaptation difficulties among immigrants

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Social axioms are the prevailing common and basic beliefs that supposedly guide behavior in a culture. Lack of accurate knowledge about them may therefore interfere with adaptation to a culture. The present study investigated the implications of inaccurate of knowledge regarding the Israeli social axioms upon how immigrants from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union have adapted to the Israeli society. Central findings were that a lack of knowledge of the social axioms is negatively related to the sociocultural adaptation of immigrants, that lack of knowledge regarding social axioms had a unique contribution to prediction of adaptation difficulties over the contribution of lack of knowledge about values, and that knowledge of a culture's prevailing social axioms contributes more to sociocultural adaptation than does actual proximity of the immigrants' own social axioms to those of the majority. These findings strongly support the utility of social axioms as cultural descriptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-208
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Adaptation
  • Immigrants
  • Social axioms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology


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