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16 Dec 2010
School
Department
Course
Lecture 17
Culture
Culture can be one large topic/situation
Defining culture:
oAn everchanging constructive stimulus which shape the way individuals perceive and
contribute to the world.
Dyanmic
Influenced by members of the culture
Influences members of the culture (duality)
What is Culture?
Nationality country you were born in
Ethnicity Your cultural heritage
Identification shared identity of group members
Meaning System Symbols, language, experiences; metaphysical (beliefs about the world,
universe and existence)
2 primary methodological orientations to studying culture
oCulture Comparative: universalist approach to cultural psychology that assumes basic
psychological processes are fundamental to all humans
Most common approach in cultural psychology
Think between-culture variation is comparable to within-culture variation
oCross-cultural: relativist approach to cultural psychology that assumes that human
behaviour is essentially cultural
Psychological processes are defined by the cultural context in which they occur
Focus on within-culture variation usually only discuss between-culture
differences qualitatively
Typical Methods
Culture-comparative psychologists:
oIdentify a construct (individualism) that might vary by culture
oTest the construct in more than one culture
Cross-cultural
oChoose a culture
oStudy and identify psychological processes of people in that culture (heuristics,
persuasion)
Describing Cultures
Individualist Cultures:
oEmphasizes personal achievement, even at the expense of others
oGreater emphasize on competition
oCanada, Western Europe, U.S.
oIf they see a picture of the fish they would say the fish is faster, leader, etc.
Collectivist Cultures:
oEmphasize social roles and collective responsibilities, even at the expense of the
individual
oGreater emphasize on cooperation
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