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University of the Sunshine Coast
Dr Rachael Sharman

PSY302: Intercultural and Indigenous Psychology Lecture 2 Cross-Cultural Research Methods Stereotypes - Almost certainly a universal human cognitive processing function - Not always bad, but frequently accurate - Often supported by evidence - The core business of psychological science is to categorise and stereotype to better understand group differences Prejudice - Thinking/feeling or assumptions made based on group membership - Not always bad, not always inaccurate Discrimination - Acting on a stereotype/prejudice (the difference between thinking and doing) - Some forms of discrimination are illegal - Some forms largely ignored or actively promoted/encouraged/protected by legislation Anti-Discrimination Law: Ifs, Buts and Caveats - Some religious organisations are allowed to discriminate (eg: Christian school sacking a single female teacher who became pregnant) - Some laws actively discriminate (eg: the current marriage act prohibits homosexual marriage) - Workplace: “inherent requirements” and workplace health and safety laws; what about interviews, promotions, ability? - Some legal judgements appear to be underpinned by high level of discrimination in some cases “Positive” Discrimination - Particularly vexed area for evidence-based psychologists, however is often legislated/protected by some levels of government (even when it is doing more harm than good) In-group vs. Out-group - The cognitive process behind “Man’s inhumanity towards Man” - We all do it, no one is immune - Eg: Blue eyes vs. brown eyes project Language/Offence - Avoid using slang/derogatory terminology to denote group membership - However, if you are part of in-group, often socially acceptable Method Validation Studies - Validity: how accurately does tool measure what it is supposed to measure? - Reliability: how consistent is the measurement? - Cannot take scale or measure developed and validated in one culture and use in another - Cross-cultural validation studies test equivalence of psychological measures; important to conduct before cross-cultural comparisons Indigenous Cultural Studies - Rich descriptions of complex theoretical models of culture - Predict and explain cultural differences - Psychological processes and behaviour can be understood within cultural milieu - To understand behaviour requires in-depth analysis of cultural systems - Roots in anthropology Cross-Cultural Comparisons - Compare cultures on some psychological variable of interest - Serve as backbone of cross-cultural research - Most prevalent type of cross-cultural study - Different types of cross-cultural studies are prominent at different times - Own set of methodological issues have an impact on quality Exploratory vs. Hypothesis Testing - Exploratory studies: examine existence of cross-cultural similarities and differences - Hypothesis-testing: examine why cultural differences may exist - Strength of exploratory studies: broad scope for identifying similarities and differences - Weakness of exploratory studies: limited capability to address causes of differences - Hypothesis-testing leads to more substantial contributions to theory development Contextual Factors - Characteristics of participants or their cultures - Involves any variable the can explain observed cross-cultural differences - Enhances validity and helps rule out influence of biases and inequivalence - Evaluation of contextual factor influence can help to confirm/disconfirm their role in accounting for cultural differences observed - Hypothesis testing studies generally need to include contextual variables Structure vs. Level Orientated - Structure-orientated: comparisons of constructs, structures, or relationships with other constructs - Level-orientated: comparisons of scores - Structure-orientated studies focus on relationships among variables; attempt to identify similarities and differences in these relations across cultures - Level-orientated studies ask whether people of different cultures have different mean levels of different variables Individual vs. Ecological (Cultural) Level - Individual-level studies: individual participants provide data and are unit of analysis - Ecological-/cultural-level studies: countries or cultures are units of analysis - Most well-know
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