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Culture Psychology

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Maria Pelaez

on 24 October 2012

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Transcript of Culture Psychology

It is very hard to give an exact definition of culture, but many have given their own interpretation of what culture is. What is Culture? "Common rules that regulate interactions & behavior in a group as well as a number of shared values & attitudes in the group" Loner 1995 "A dynamic system of rules, explicit & implicit, established by groups in order to ensure their survival, involving attitudes, values, beliefs, norms, & behaviors" Matusmoto 2004 “'Mental software, that is cultural schemas that have been internalized so that they influence thinking, emotions, & behavior." Hofstede 2002 CULTURE By Maria Pamela Pelaez and Lucia Carbajal Surface Culture Surface culture can be described by Matsumoto's (2004) idea of culture "culture is a complex concept that is used in many different ways". For example in the description of eating habits, food, religion, clothing, etc., because it is VISIBLE. This image represents "surface culture" because women in different countries have different ideas of how to dress, and it's a judgement of visible things of different cultures. Deep Culture "Culture cannot be seen but we can see the manifestations of culture" (Kuschel 2004) this explains what deep culture is , since it's related to the attitudes, beliefs, and values that uphold cultural manifestations. When Matsumoto mentions "dynamic" he makes a reference to changes over periods of time due to the social changes that a group may undergo and the responses people have to their surrounding environment. Example of Surface Culture CULTURE does NOT explain BEHAVIOR Kuschel has argued that using culture to explain behavior should not be done, but rather another question must be asked.

How can factors in a culture result in certain behaviors that are seen in different cultures?

Using culture as an explanation for behavior could result in circular arguments, this meaning that an answer would not be obtained. God exists . He exists because it is stated in the Bible The Bible states nothing but the truth. The Bible is the truth because it is the word of God. Example of a circular argument. Approaches to understanding the role culture plays in human behavior Etic Approach Emic Approach Tries to find rules that apply to cultures worldwide

Attempts to discover behaviors that culturally universal

Behaviors that share perceptual, cognitive, and emotional structures Surface Culture and Deep Culture Emic Approach vs. Etic Approach Culture and Gender Mead 1935 Look at behaviors that are specific to a certain culture.

This approach suggests that the idea of the "truth" depends on the culture one has experienced in their life.

By understanding and acknowledging the different variations there are in culture, it is easier to understand the other cultures. This anthropologist was documenting several instances of cultural variations in gender of three different cultures in New Guinea that lived close to each other. Findings: vs Arapesh The people from this community were characterized as having "feminine" personalities, because men and women have the same the sensitive and non aggressive behavior. Ekman & Friesen 1971
Etic Approach Aim Tchambuli They were characterized as "masculine" since both women and men were ruthless and unpleasant. To explore if facial expressions of certain emotions are universal. Procedure The researchers' participant sample were members of the Fore tribe in Papua New Guinea: 189 adults and 130 children (an isolated culture with no exposure to Western civilization) Mundugamor In a lab experiment, the participants were shown photographs of different facial expressions and then were told an "emotion-producing story" and asked to identify which photograph matched with the story. They found women and men behavior was inverse of the western norms, for example women were dominant and men were more emotional and "personal appearance concerned." Adults were shown 3 while children were shown 2. In the 40 photographs shown to a total of 24 different people, 6 emotions were shown:
happiness
sadness
anger
surprise
disgust
fear Findings It suggest that gender-role progression is influenced by society.This study is reliable since other studies have shown the same results and suggestions. The choices in photographs made by the particiapnts were compared to the choices of a group of 23 "Westernized" adults from the same region of Papau New Guinea.
In contrast to the other participants, these had been much exposed with Westernized ways. There were no significant differences found:
On the amount of people who chose the corresponding photograph
Between ages or gender Results showed that there was some confusion when it came to distinguishing fear and surprise among the members of the tribe. Conclusion Criticism The study showed that the six facial expressions are not cultural-specific, but are universal. Cole & Scribner 1974
Emic Approach Aim To explore memory strategies in different cultures. Procedure Findings Further Testing The anthropologist may have exaggerated the variations in the behavior described in the different tribes. Psychologists' focus on Culture Liberian children were used as the participant sample, some attended school while other didn't and were of all different ages. Children were asked given a list of words that fell into 4 different categories and were asked to recall as many of these words as possible.
The four categories were:
1. utensils
2. clothes
3. tools
4. vegetables The items in the list had been chosen by local Liberians with a college education with the purpose of making the task "culturally relevant" for the children.

The researchers had 15 practice trials. Studies as Mead's have inspired psychologists to have a consideration of culture's role in behavior.
So, psychologists instead of focusing on the object that make up a certain culture like anthropologists do, they focus on subjective elements such as group attitudes,values,beliefs, and norms. Participants who did not attend school:
First trial: remembered 10 items
After the 15 practice trials: only two more items were remembered
After the age of 10, children showed no type if improvement in memory skills as they had gotten older. Participants who attended school:
Learned words faster
Older group showed to have an improvement in their memory abilities. Cultural Norms Definition Researchers found that literate children used "chunking," or in other words they grouped words into categories, unlike the illiterate children.

This strategy of "chunking" used by the literate children was also used in a comparison group of children in the United Sates. Is a behavior pattern that is specific or typical of a certain group. Gatekeepers Conclusion Memory strategies are not universal after having observed both results from the Cole and Scribner 1974 study and the Rogoff and Wadell 1982 study. Researchers varied the recall task. The objects were presented to the children in a meaningful way, either as a part of a story or of a narrative.
The illiterate children, the ones attending school, now "chunked" the items after recalling them easily with respect to the role the object played in the narrative. Gatekeepers are the groups of people that pass down these behavioral patterns or cultural norms which are obtained through observational learning. Rogoff and Wadell 1982

A study with Mayan children that found that these children remembered objects easily if they were meaningfully related to the local scenery. Examples of Gatekeepers Parents
Religious leaders
Peers
Teachers The strategies used to memorize items depend on different factors.

Some depend on the schooling as seen by the U.S. and Liberian children who used "chunking." Those who have not learned the strategy will not use it.

Other strategies may be put to use depending on the culture, for example as seen in the Rogoff and Wadell study where children grouped items according to the use they would have in their idea of every day life. This study is support for the etic approach because it is suggesting that the facial expressions used to express certain emotions can be applied to all cultures worldwide after having made the comparison between the members of the Fore tribe in Papua New Guinea without much exposure to Western civilization to "Westernized" group of adults from Papua New Guinea. Examples of Cultural Norms This study along with the Rogoff and Wadell study 1982, are support for the emic approach due to the fact that the different studies show different memorizing techniques among different cultures. The idea that behaviors are culturally specific is reflected in the results of both these studies. Spanking children (rejected or accepted) Choosing marriage patterns Attitudes regarding alcoholic consumption

Appropriate age of when to start having sexual relations Cultural Dimensions Cultural dimensions is "the perspectives of a culture based on values and cultural norms" How did Hoefstede define cultural dimensions in 1973? This image explains time consciousness since people approach punctuality in different ways. For examples Americans mean what they say and say what they mean so if they set an appointment at 8 they will most likely be there at 8, but Honduras are more carefree and therefore very may come off as unpunctual. Cultural Dimensions He analyzed a large amount of employee surveys from 70 different countries collected by IBM (International Business Machines) between 1967 and 1973 in order to understand e difference between work ethic and behavior.
In Hoefstede's content analysis, he looked for the main differences seen in the surveys that were submitted by the different countries

Hoefstede named these trends that he found while analyzing his data "dimensions." Individualism vs Collectivism Uncertainty and Avoidance Collectivism Short-term Orientation Long-term Orientation Individualism Member Avoidance Uncertainty (cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr People think more about his or herself They think only about personal gain The ties between individuals get lost or broken They come form extended families People have strong and cohesive in-groups They suffer from sever punishment for not living up to their social norms They offer support and protection for one another People embrace unfamiliar or surprising situations When it comes to punctuality, they have very relaxed attitudes These people believe in the absolute truth meaning they avoid what is "uncertain." They have "cohesion" to laws and rules They have strict concerns when it comes to punctuality Short-term and Long-term Orientations They focus on innovation and not on the traditional old ways.
so they live life in the future They also focus on the future.
past doesn't control their lives, but innovation does People have personal stability Hoefstede 1973 STRENGTHS
The study has been replicated
Because it uses such a large sample with information from several different countries it creates larger validity
Since the information has such a large sample from different countries, it can be used to help compare work ethics and behaviors within different cultures. They protect collective identity Show respect for traditions Their relationships are based on status This people show a lot of loyalty, trustworthiness, and persistence They show a lot of stability Hall 1966 Ecological Fallacy "It should not be assumed that two members from two different cultures must be different from one another, or that a single member of a culture will always demonstrate the dimensions which are the norm of that culture", you have to take in consideration this when comparing two different cultures.
This refers to ecological fallacy which Hoefstede mentions to make sure generalizations or assumptions aren't made casually about cultures. So be careful when applying cultural dimensions casually, you be getting the wrong idea about a culture. These concepts just helps psychologists to generalize about cultures in order to discuss better the role that culture has in behavior. Hall (1966) BACKGROUND: an anthropologist that presents two more norms which are, proxemic theory and time consciousness; you may want to consider them when discussing theory. PROXEMIC THEORY It's based on the need for personal space Different or various cultures have different perspectives of a comfortable personal space. TIME CONSCIOUSNESS Cultures are divided into two :
Polychronich cultures and Monochronic cultures MONOCHRONIC CULTURES: since they can only concentrated on one thing at a time, they have highly scheduled agendas and value a lot what is punctuality and meeting datelines. POLYCHRONIC CULTURES: they can handle many things happening at the same time, so they are no stressed when someone or something is late or postponed, since they also expect interruptions. Bibliography Crane, J. & Hannibal, J. (2009). IB Diploma Programme Psychology Course Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
"Examples of Circular Arguements." Yahoo! Answers. Yahoo!, n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2012. <http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071110101255AACbdw8>.
"What Is Culture." Powerpoint. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.google.hn/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CD8QFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Freaganhumanities.wikispaces.com%2Ffile%2Fview%2FWhat%2Bis%2Bculture.pptx&ei=20yEUKWeMYGg8gT3h4D4Bw&usg=AFQjCNERX8PvOdqeIZxhEoQEuFzcPIYRkA>. WEAKNESSES
Cannot be applied to all types of employees or institutions because the information only has data about IBM employees
Might generalize about a certain culture implying all people within that culture are the same, putting aside the fact that there are individual differences within a culture aside.
Does not consider changes within culture
The information was gathered by self-report measures. For example, the comfortable personal space of a Honduran may be different than that of an American who prefers to stand farther apart. Conclusion
Psychologists have and will continue to study the influence that cultural norms have on behavior, trying to answer the questions and mysteries that are behind one's culture and why it is the way it is.
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