PSY302: Intercultural and Indigenous Psychology
An Introduction to Culture and Psychology
Cultural Psychology: Psychology with a Cultural Perspective
- Psychology well equipped to meet the challenge of cultural diversity
- First goal: build body of knowledge about people
- Second goal: take body of knowledge and apply it to intervene in people’s lives
- Applied psychologists engage in lifelong learning process to help intervene in people’s lives
- Theories tested for validity both in science and on streets
Cultural Psychology and Cross-Cultural Research
- WEIRDOs (Western, educated, industrialised, rich and democratic cultures) are not representative of
- Is that we know about human behaviour true for all people?
- Cross-cultural research: tests cultural parametres of psychological knowledge; involves inclusion of
people of different cultural backgrounds
- Cultural psychology: phenomenon of understanding cultural influences on behaviour
The Contribution of the Study of Culture on Psychological Truths
- Important to incorporate a cultural perspective in mainstream psychology
- Knowledge created in psychology should be accurate and descriptive of all people
- Cross-cultural research tests whether what is true for some is also true for others
- Cultural diversity in findings and cultural differences in research are widespread
- Multicultural psychology incorporates psychologies of cultures around world
The Contribution of the Study of Culture in our own Lives
- Practicing cultural psychology is an exercise in critical thinking
- Is what we know true for all people regardless of their cultural backgrounds?
- Under what conditions do differences occur, and why?
- What is it about culture that produces such differences?
- What factors other than culture contribute to these differences?
The Growth of Cultural Psychology and Cross-Cultural Research
- Cultural psychology has made substantial impact in psychology worldwide
- Popularity of cultural psychology due to importance of culture upon behaviour
- Intercultural conflicts led to much interest in cross-cultural research - Theoretical models are increasingly incorporating culture
- Increased interest in cultural psychology is a normal and healthy development
What is Culture?
- Many use culture, race, nationality and ethnicity interchangeably
- Describes activities/behaviours
- Refers to heritage/tradition
- Describes rules and norms
- Describes learning and problem-solving
- Defines organisation of group
- Refers to origin of a group
Two Key Concepts to Keep in Mind
- Culture as a “brain-changer”: developmental changes (eg: Aboriginal children and spatial memory)
- Culture as set of rules/norms/social expectations (think about history of said rituals)
Where Does Culture Come From?
- Ecology: types of places where people live has major impact on HOW they live
- Resources (natural and monetary) affect culture
- Group living, needs and motives influence culture
- Universal psychological toolkit: aptitude and cognitive abilities help people to adapt to environment
- Individuals differ in how much they have or use their “toolkits”, but we all have similar “toolkits”
A Definition of Culture
- Provides guidelines/roadmaps on what to do, how to think and what to feel
- Ways of living take advantage of toolkits to meet basic human needs
- Definition: unique information system, shared by group, and transmitted across gene