Social Psychology Lecture 8- Culture, Social Power, and Hierarchy
What is culture?
- culture is always changing
- you can influence your culture
- and your culture affects you
- Identity: how much you identify (feel) to you culture (nationality or ethnicity) - moderator
- Metaphysics: belief about why we are here (creation story)
- People emphasize the individual over the group
- This creates a greater competitive group
- Emphasize the group over the individual
- This creates a greater cooperation in the group
- Research usually sees individualist and collectivist as a dichotomy (where a group is either
collectivist or individualist (not both)) this is found not to be true because you can be collectivist
and individualist at the same time.
- Government constrains the culture and really affects the culture
- Can change the culture and beliefs
- Strongly influence culture and social roles etc.
- Culture is affected by your environment (e.g.: Inuit who live in the arctic)
- Research that not everyone thinks the same (in words)
- If you are doing something that is interrupting your thought process (articulatory suppression)
then you make more errors – what most researcher thought
- But when they did a study where two groups of people ( East Asian Americans and European
Americans) had to do a test while thinking aloud and then do the test while saying the alphabet
(articulatory suppression) researchers found that in European Americans thinking aloud helped
their test scores while the articulatory suppression decreased the scores but for the East-Asian Americans, both the thinking aloud and the articulatory suppression negatively affected their
scores. This is because the verbalization is interfering their thought process because they do not
think in words.
- Researchers thought that if you are primed with a familiar icon from your culture then you will
temporarily behave more resembling to that culture.
- They showed the Chinese participants either a Chinese pagoda or a western icon for 100 ms
(which is too quick for them to register what the image is but enough time for them to be
primed by it). Then they tested their support of Chinese values and culture. They found that
those who were primed with a Chinese icon showed greater value and support for Chinese
Dialectical Thinking (vs linear thinking)
- How you interpret your environment
- North American = dialectical thinker
- East Asian= linear thinkers
- CHANGE: a dialectical thinker thinks that the world around them is always changing but a linear
thinker sees the world as always staying the same.
- CONTRIDICTION: a dialectical thinker knows that the world is full of contradictions and they can
both be right but a linear thinker can have only one right and one wrong.
- WHOLISM: a dialectical thinker see contradiction from a wholism perspective where both
contradictions can be right and wrong if you just look at the whole picture
- Researchers looked the the linearity/ dialecticism in Chinese proverbs vs American proverbs
- Many emotions at the same time
- Mixture of positive and negative emotion at the same time
- North America – only one emotion at a time
- East asia – more mixed emotions – positive and negative emotions are independant of one
- However the INTENSITY of the emotion are dependant
Moving Between Cultures
- Acculturation- a person does not reject their previous culture but they add the new culture and
they both work together
- Assimilation- they reject their previous identity and completely adapt the new identity (negative
Bicultural Identity Integration - Perceived harmony vs conflict
- Fish image task- show the participant an image of a group of fish then ask them why the one fish
is in the front of the group. They then, depending on the answer, measure the attributions since
east Asians make more external attributions (eg: the tide is coming and the fish is running away)
and North Americans make more internal attributions (eg: he is the leader of the group).
- When the participants had a high Bicultural identity Integration and they see the Chinese prime
then they have external attribution and internal attribution for the American prime. However,
when the participant was shown to have a low BII then they showed the opposite- internal
attribution to the Chinese prime and external attribution to the American prime. This is because
when they are primed with the one culture they act behave more towards the other culture and
vice versa which is very maladaptive.
Social Power and Hierarchy
- Social hierarchy: explicit (eg: the different colored robes)or implicit (eg: many groups have an
unsaid leader) valued social dimension ( what we rank the individual on depending on what is
important to the group)
- Social Power: objective- those who are in contr