PSYCH352 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Fecundity, Doubling Time, Physical Attractiveness

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Week 2: Cultural Change and Evolution
IKEA
- Though founded in Sweden, IKEA is not de factor Swedish
o 332 stores in 38 countries
- IKEA tries to keep costs down at the maximum
o Holes in screws
o Disregard labor rights
2010 Sweatshop Hall of Shame (Labour Rights Forum)
o Disregarded boundaries during the Cold War
Production in Poland
Production in East German prisons
- IKEA is an example of globalization and cultural change
What Are the Sources of Cultural Knowledge?
- Beliefs
o Self-beliefs
o Religious beliefs
- Practices
o Scientology E-meter
o Dowry in India
o House shoes in Canada vs. US
- External media
o Architecture east Asian gardens vs. Western gardens
o Legal institutions
o Mass media
- Institutions
Language
- What does shi gu mean? (hint: personality adjective) artistic
- One can study culture through study of personality adjectives that don’t have an
economical equivalent in other cultures
- Proverbs
Life Experiences
- Experiences in every society are organized into certain loose patterns
o Kitayama et al. (1997)
US cultural experiences afford self-enhancement
Japanese experiences afford more opportunity to self-effacement
o Morling et al. (2002)
Experiences of influencing others are more available in the US
Experiences of adjusting to the environment is more available in
Japan
So Far…
- Culture is in your mind
o Brain signatures
o Beliefs and attitudes
- Culture is also “out there”
o Practices
o External realities
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Cultural Change What, Why, and How Fast?
How Fast Culturanomics: Speed of Cultural Change
- Moore’s Law the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles
approximately every two years
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How Fast Culturenomics: Speed and Magnitude of Cultural Change
- Michel et al. (2011) examined the frequency of words in English language over
time
o 4% of all American books
o How fast do cultural icons (e.g., celebrities) get noticed?
Age of initial celebrity
Doubling time
o How soon are they forgotten?
Post-peak half-life
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