Chapter 10(1): Living in Multicultural Worlds
Heritage Culture vs. Host Culture
Longitudinal study: very difficult as takes a long time and hard to do.
Cross sectional studies: easy since those that are born on outside their culture and those live in same culture
compared. Problem is that there are so many confounding variables so it is very hard to control.
What Happens When People Move to a New Culture?
• There are many reasons why people go to another culture. Once
they are in their, they might live n different environments.
• Moving to a new culture involves psychological adjustment=the
stress level is high.
• One common pattern of acculturation is captured by a Ushaped
• Y=positive how the participants like the new culture and
• First few month▯very excited▯called the HONEYMOON phase
• As the time passes▯a dip seen▯cultural shock (618 month being sick, and tired of the new country). They
may find to hard to communicate with new culture people and are overwhelmed. Some of them can’t go
through this go back while others stay. CRISIS or CULTURAL SHOCK period.
• As you stay long▯they start enjoying the experience again. Language mastered now. Develop friendship as a
results etc. ADJUSTMENT PHASE.
• They can reverse this and receive cultural shock if they now after spending long time in America and then
decide to go back.
Homogenous Culture vs. Multiculturalism
• In more homogenous cultures the adjustment phase of the curve is sometimes not experienced. For
example, one study of immigrants to Japan showed an Lshaped curve, where people who had lived in
Japan for more than 5 years weren’t faring much better than those who were in the depths of culture shock
after one year (HsiaoYing, 1995).
Who Adjusts Better?
• Cultural Distance How similar is their heritage culture to the host culture.( Same culture, it is ok and you
• A parallel phenomenon exists for learning another language.
• Languages can be categorized by how recently they shared a common linguistic ancestor. Those, which
have a more recent common linguistic ancestor, are more similar in terms of their grammar and
morphology. Thus it might be easier for them to get this language rather then completely different.
• When you look around the world, their are chunk of language spread throughout the world.
• Similarity in language can help you adjust better. TOEFL score showed that Germany and Sweden has the
highest score. Perhaps because English is very similar to language in these culture (IndoEuropeans are a
lot better). Japanese is the lowest.
Similar Culture, Good Adaptation
• Verb is at the end of the sentence for Japanese I you love NOT (verb at the end). I you LOVE (will be on
• The more similar one’s heritage culture is to one’s host culture, the easier it is to adapt to the host culture.
• Sojourners who have greater cultural distance from the host culture tend to show more distress, have more
medical consultations, and have more difficulty in making friendships with people from the host culture.
• Study: Malaysian exchange students who went to study in culturallysimilar Singapore showed more
successful sociocultural adjustment than those who went to study in more culturally distant NewZealand.
First Nations in Canada
• The tsimshian of the Northwest BC coast traditionally relied largely on subsistence practices (mostly
fishing) that allowed them to accumulate large quantities of food and establish permanent highly stratified
settlements. • The eastern cree from Northern Quebec were migratory, did not accumulate many resources, and had little
stratification (hunter and gather)
• The carrier, of Northeastern BC was intermediate in terms of their resource accumulation, and social
• Paralleling the cultural similarities with colonial culture, the tsimshian acculturated to mainstream Canadian
culture with the least acculturative stress, the eastern Cree showed the most difficulties, and carrier were
• Thus cultural difference btw first nations and the colonial culture determine who are better able to adapt to
Acculturation and Personality
• Research has found that extraverted Finns from rural Finland are more likely to move to urban parts of
Finland, than are less extraverted rural Finns. Apparently, people with a preference for social engagement
enjoy the diverse social opportunities in urban regions (Jokela et al., 2008).
• ANIMAL RESEARCH: Curiously, a similar pattern has been identified with lizards. Those lizards with
high “social tolerance” are more likely to move to densely populated patches than low in social tolerance.
• Extraversion does not universally predict acculturation success.
• However, what appears to be more important is whether the individual’s personality matches with that of
the dominant host culture
• Extraverts fare well in a largely extraverted culture, such as the US, but extraverts have more problems
fitting in in less extraverted cultures, such as Singapore.
• Likewise, Asians with more independent selfconcepts have an easier time acculturating to North America
vs. those that are more collectivist.
• People vary in the acculturation strategies that they use.
• The two key variables are how positive are people attitude
towards their host culture, and how positive are attitudes
towards their heritage culture There are 4 possible strategies
that can be arranged in a 2 by 2 table.
• The table on the right will be on exam.
Acculturation Strategies (con’t)
• The most common strategy that people pursue is the integrations strategy.
• The marginalization strategy is the least common strategy (very negative attitudes associated with it)
• Assimilation and separation are intermediate in frequency.
• The assimilation strategy is associated with more positive outcomes than the separation strategy.
• Separation bears the cost of rejecting the host culture ( reject Canadianàyour children also do this)
A Salad Bowl or a Melting Pot?
• Societies also vary in terms of the model of multiculturalism that they pursue.
• Some countries, such as Canada, strive for a “salad bowl” model, where each ethnic group maintains its
distinctive characteristics, and adds unique flavor to the whole.
• Other countries, such as The USA, strive more for a “melting pot” model, where each ethnic group’s
distinctive characteristics are melted away as they learn to assimilate to the dominant culture.
• What do you see as some of the strengths and weaknesses of these two models? (we are all Americans but
then original culture values is lost. People can be proud at the expense of group solidary but they also try to
fit in if it values diversity▯and more positive attitudes as a result)
Need for Cognitive Closure (NCC)
• They completed a “Need for Cognitive Closure” scale. This scale assesses people’s comfort with
uncertainty. Those with a high need for cognition are uncomfortable with uncertainty, and will seek firm
answers, even if such answers might not really exist.
• It’s all about trying to make everything clear. If you are in Italy if you are high in need of this, i..e things are
very unclear, you are more likely to take assimilation strategy since they really hate the uncertainty.
• Study: Croatian immigrants to Italians.
• They indicated whom they primarily associated with during their first 3 months in Italy. • They completed a measure of sociocultural adaptation, which indicated how successfully they had adapted
to life in Italy.
Effect of initial interactions:
• For participants low in a need for cognitive closure, their early experiences had little impact on their
• In contrast, for those high in a need for cognitive closure, their early experiences had much impact on their
Chapter 10 (2): 70% after midterms only notes and you will get 85%
Positive Outcomes of Multiculturalism
• Moving to a new culture requires psychological adaptation. In the process of adapting to a new culture, one
needs to begin to see things in a new way.
• There can be some particular benefits to learning how to see things differently.
Do Multicultural Experiences Foster Creativity?
• A key part of creativity is insight where you see a problem in a novel way.
• Creative insight might be fostered by adjusting to a new cultural environment, where you learn to see things
in a different way. If you are used to looking at life from more than one perspective, you might be more
likely to have creative insights.
• Many famous artists and writers had multicultural experiences.
• Richard wright wrote: “Once I went (abroad) it was extremely exciting for me to become a new personality,
to be detached from everything that bound me, noticing everything that was different. That noticing of
difference was very important.”
The candle example:
• How could you attach the candle to the wall so that it burns properly (vertically), and doesn’t get wax on
the floor, using only these objects? Hammer the box into the wall and then light the candle and then using a
drop of wax to stick it to the wall. If you can’t think of the box as a holder of candle ▯ no answer will be
The Creativity Test, Results
• Time spent living abroad predicted creativity
• Merely traveling abroa d, as a tourist, in contrast, did not improve performance.
• One alternative explanation to this is that it might be that creative people are more likely to live abroad.
That is, according to this account, it’s not that adapting to new cultures makes one more creative, but
having a creati