Journal article

Did Strategic Bombing in the Second World War Lead to "German Angst'? A Large-scale Empirical Test Across 89 German Cities

Martin Obschonka, Michael Stuetzer, P Jason Rentfrow, Jeff Potter, Samuel D Gosling

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY | WILEY | Published : 2017

Abstract

A widespread stereotype holds that the Germans are notorious worriers, an idea captured by the term German angst. An analysis of country-level neurotic personality traits (trait anxiety, trait depression, and trait neuroticism; N = 7 210 276) across 109 countries provided mixed support for this idea; Germany ranked 20th, 31st, and 53rd for depression, anxiety, and neuroticism, respectively, suggesting, at best, the national stereotype is only partly valid. Theories put forward to explain the stereotypical characterization of Germany focus on the collective traumatic events experienced by Germany during World War II (WWII), such as the massive strategic bombing of German cities. We thus exami..

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