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Flashcards in Culture Behavior and Personality Deck (31):
1

Cross-cultural Psychology:

Research that compares different cultures (typically in terms of Western constructs and methods)

2

Cultural Psychology:

a label for a practical, empirical,
and philosophical project designed to reassess the uniformitarian principle of psychic unity and aimed at the development of a credible theory of psychological pluralism. It is a summons to reconsider the methods and procedures for studying mental states and psychological processes across languages and cultures (Shweder, 1997).

3

Cultural and Cross-Cultural Psychology:

They overlap, but are pretty much completely different
projects.

4

Culture and Psychology

People from different cultures differ in their psychological processes; psychological processes are shaped by experiences
Yet, psychological processes are not fully determined by experiences
Both “anti anti-universalist and anti anti-relativist.”

5

What is Culture? (1/2)

it indicates a particular kind of information. Specifically,
any kind of information that is acquired from other members of one’s species through social learning that is capable of affecting an individual’s behaviors. That is, any kind of idea, belief, technology, habit or practice that is acquired through learning from others.

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What is Culture? (2/2)

indicates a particular groups of individuals.
Cultures are people existing within some kind of shared context. This presents some challenges: 1) boundaries are not always clear-cut. The fluid (and sometimes overlapping)
nature of cultural boundaries troubles researchers’ abilities to identify and define culture and differences. 2) Cultures change over time. And, 3) There is much variability among individuals within a culture.

7

Enculturation:

the process of socialization through which an
individual acquires his or her native culture. This begins and maybe mostly fundamentally happens early in life, but it is an ongoing process

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Acculturation:

the process of partially or fully acquiring a new
cultural outlook

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The Importance of Cross-Cultural
Differences

Differences can cause misunderstandings
The generalizability of theory and research
Varieties of human experience

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The generalizability of theory and research

• Evidence that culture affects the way that personality is expressed and emotion is experienced (remember the WEIRD database)

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Varieties of human experience

Culture influences construals of the world and self
Culture is a lens through which the world, including other people, is seen

12

The Characteristics of Culture

How can one culture be compared to another?
• Behavior, experience of emotions, thoughts, sense of connection
with the world, meanings of the self
• Look for differences and similarities

13

Two Ways Culture can be studied

emically and etically

14

Emically

in the terms, constructs, and
meanings that are specific to a particular culture

15

Etically

in some set of standardized,
presumably universal, terms and constructs applied to all cultures and people.

16

The Characteristics of Cultures: General
Differences Between Cultures

• Early ideas: tough vs. easy, stressfulness, emphasis on
need for achievement vs. affiliation
• Complexity
• Tightness-looseness: tolerance of deviation from proper
behavior

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Some General Differences Between Cultures

Collectivism-individualism; ego-centric/socio-centric;
independent/interdependent: view of relationship between the individual and society
• The meaning of personality might differ
• Predictors of satisfaction with life

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Collectivism-individualism; ego-centric/socio-centric;
independent/interdependent: view of relationship between the individual and society

Importance of needs and rights of the group vs. the individual
• Clarity of boundary between the individual and the group: permeable versus impermeable self-boundaries, and permeable and impermeable ingroup/outgroup
boundaries

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The meaning of personality might differ

personality is more meaningful in individualistic cultures, and but this doesn’t mean
that it has no meaning in collectivist cultures (personality can predict behavior and is consistent across situations)
• Individualists tend to favor abstract traits, consistency, and autonomy; versus social roles and relationships, adaptability and interdependence
• In fact, the concept and meaning of self might differ (e.g., Buddhism)

20

Predictors of satisfaction with life

harmony of relationships with others vs. relationship to self; self-esteem vs. self-improvement

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Collectivism-individualism

Other more or less consistent differences
•Preference for doing activities in groups vs. alone (extends to child-rearing practices)
•Experience of emotions
-Fundamental motivations
Beyond individualist/collectivist
- Vertical
•Self-compassion
Important to note that some individuals in collectivist cultures are individualistic and vice versa

22

Experience of emotions

other-focused (sympathy) vs. self-focused (anger); importance of love in marriages (arranged marriages are more common in collectivist cultures); dependence on social worth and relationships vs. the self

23

Fundamental motivations

collectivist cultures focus more on avoiding loss of respect because respect by others can be easily lost and is difficult to regain; individualist cultures focus more on achievement of pleasure or reward; leads to self-enhancement in individualist cultures

24

Vertical

assume individuals are importantly different) versus Horizontal (viewing individuals as essentially equal) (Also known as Ranked)

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Self-compassion

“holding painful emotions in mindful awareness while feelings of care and kindness are extended to the self”

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Harry Triandis’s three dimensions

CAN BE APPLIED TO INDIVIDUALS
-Cultural complexity:
• Cultural tightness:
• Collectivist vs. individualist:

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Cultural Complexity

Cognitive complexity

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Cultural Tightness

conscientiousness and intolerance for ambiguity

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Collectivist vs. Individualist

a dimension of personal values that focuses on whether one believes that the group is more important than the individual (allocentrism), or vice versa (ideocentrism)

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Cultural Assessment and Personality
Assessment (1/2)

Comparing the same traits across cultures
• Canadians have the highest self-esteem and Japanese have the lowest
• Means on extraversion scales vary cross-culturally

31

Cultural Assessment and Personality
Assessment (2/2)

Different traits for different cultures?
• Is the meaning the same? • The Big Five are found in observer ratings in 50+ cultures • Many variations have also been found (the big 6—honesty/humility,
or the big 7)
• Only conscientiousness, extraversion, and agreeableness should be considered universal (but this not universally accepted)
• Difficulties of translations (and why translate? Why not determine emic dimensions?)