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Define Culture

The rules, customes, morals and ways of interacting that bind together members of a society or some other collection of people.


Define Cultural Bias

The Tendency to judge all people in terms of your own cultural assumptions. This distorts or biases your judgement.


Define Cultural Relativism

The view that behaviour cannot be judged properly unless it is viewed in the context of the culture in which it originates.


Define Ethnocentrism

Seeing things from the point of view of ourselves and our social group. Evaluating other groups of people using the standards and customs of ones own culture.


Define Individualistic Culture

Individualistic culture is a society which is characterized by individualism, which is the prioritization, or emphasis, of the individual over the entire group.


Define Collectivist Culture

A collectivist culture is one that's based on valuing the needs of a group or a community over the individual. Kinship, family, and community are extremely important. People tend to work together.


Define Etic

Refers to the study of a culture from the perspective of another culture.


Define Emic

Refers to the investigation of a culture from withinthe culture itself.


Culture Bias Study

The procedure, known as the ‘Strange Situation’, was conducted by observing the behaviour of the infant in a series of eight episodes lasting approximately 3 minutes this would test. This test was not Culture Bias as it was designed for and American culture.
However when the procedure was carried out in other individualistic and collectivist cultures the meta-analysis because culture bias.
Japan had the highest Insecure-Resistant attachment type and was judged however the procedure of leaving a child on its own is not part of Japanese Culture and so this study is invalid for this culture.


Culture Bias Theory

Piaget's theory of cognitive development is about the nature and development of human intelligence. The theory deals with the nature of knowledge itself and how humans gradually come to acquire, construct, and use it.
Piaget was from Switzerland and generalised his theory and findings on other cultures. This is seen as culture bias as a study on Brazilian street children by Nunes shows despite not having no formal schooling, children who have jobs as street vendors have very well-developed mathematical skills which they have ‘internalised’ through working alongside adults and older children from an early age demonstrating the vital connection between context, culture and learning seen by Vygotsky.
This takes on a more nurture side which is less culture bias than Piagets Nature sided argument.


Cultural Bias Evaluation: Smith and Bond Survey

Smith and Bond surveyed research in one European textbook on social psychology. They found that 66& of the studies were American. 32% European and 2% came from the rest of the world. Sears (1986) reported that 82% of research studies used undergraduates as the participants in psychology studies and 51% were psychology students. A more recent study (Henrich et al, 2010) found that 67% were American psychology student. The researchers calculated that a randomly selected American was 4,000 times more likely to be a participant in a psychology study than a random non-westerner. This suggests chat a considerable amount of psychology is based on middle-class academic, young adults who incidentally are often male, these represent different cultural groups, and psychology findings are not only unrepresentative on a global scale, but also within western culture.


Cultural Bias Evaluation:
US Army IQ Test

One of the most infamous examples of the damage done by psychologists through cultural bias was the US Army IQ test. Used just before the First World War. The tests showed that European immigrants fell slightly below white Americans in terms of IQ and African-Americans were at the bottom of the scale with the lowest mental age. The data from these tests had a profound effect on the attitudes held by Americans towards certain groups of people – black people and people from south-easten Europe. The data led to enduring stereotypes concerning certain ethnic groups and their IQ (Gould, 1981)