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Cross-Cultural Lecture Notes.docx

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Michelle Hilscher

Corinne Ho Cross-Cultural Psychology 1 Lecture Notes ``````````` Lecture 1 – Overview of Foundational Concepts Cultural Diversity in Toronto  Toronto is home to pretty much all of world’s culture groups, more than 100 languages and dialects spoken  Toronto’s Zeitgeist  This is a movement to influence social change and better the human value system  It’s about awareness, an evolutionary process through education and social action towards a path of unification  Goal is to revise world society and the conditions on earth that lead to modern crises of civilization  Recognizes that these modern crises may be because monetary economies are inherently skewed in the favor of those in positions of economic power and how the system is built upon competition for profit and corporate brand saturation John Hume’s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech – Toronto’s Zeitgeist Translated Globally Here, we see the Toronto’s Zeitgeist on a more global scale: “Difference is of the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. The answer to difference is to respect it. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: respect for diversity.” – John Hume  Hume stands firmly against violence to try and resolve conflicts  All conflict seem to derive from difference, whether the difference is race, religion, or nationality  Goes on to say how the Europeans felt that difference is not a threat but is natural  They respected diversity, allowing people to work together in common and substantial economic interest  Allowed Europe to evolve  It’s about finding unity in diversity  Cross-cultural psychology represents an effort to recognize unity in diversity  Cultural Diversity can be unfamiliar, overwhelming, and limiting  Basically, he emphasized that the key factors in the peace process is the respect for diversity and creating institutions that respected the diversity Etic vs. Emic What is consistent across culture? What differences between cultures?  Etic – aspects of life that appear to be consistent across different cultures  Universal  Emic – aspects of life that appear differ across cultures  Culturally specific History of Cross-Cultural Psychology Tarnished history where British, French, German, and American psychologists emphasized racial difference Corinne Ho Cross-Cultural Psychology 2 Lecture Notes  It was believed that Blacks and Whites differ in brain size and intelligence  Said that Blacks have smaller brains on average Nowadays, cross-cultural psychologists would (*possible exam question*): a) Emphasize culture, not race b) Examine environmental conditions that may underlie differences between cultures c) Despite acknowledging that diversity exists, seek out what’s common and universal What is Culture? Culture is:  A set of social adaptations that fulfill shared human needs  Every culture has these needs  Each culture must figure out how best to fulfill them in a way that accommodates environmental and social realities  Basically a set of solutions:  Example: Your basic need is to avoid illness, the cultural response would be to maintain hygienic by bathing and brushing your teeth  The specific solutions (culture) depend on both ecological/environmental (such as geography) and social (such as gender roles) factors Dimensions of Differences in Cultures According to Hofstede, there are 5 dimensions that value for cultural differences (*possible exam question*): 1. Individualism vs. Collectivism – degree to which a society reinforces individual or collective achievement and interpersonal relationships  Country with high individualism score indicates that individuality is dominant  Individuals form relationships with larger numbers of people but the relationships are weak  Low individualism score show a society with a more collective nature  Ties between individuals are very strong and lean more towards collective responsibility  North America and Europe considered individualistic while Asia and Africa have strong collectivistic values 2. Power Distance – degree of equality/inequality between people in a particular society  Country with high power distance score both accepts and perpetuates inequalities between people  Upper mobility limited  Low power distance indicates that a society does not emphasize differences in people’s status, power, or wealth  Equality seen as collective aim of society  Upper mobility is common 3. Uncertainty Avoidance – level of acceptance for uncertainty and ambiguity within a society Corinne Ho Cross-Cultural Psychology 3 Lecture Notes  High uncertainty avoidance score means low tolerance towards uncertainty and ambiguity  Usually a very rule-oriented society and follows well defined and established laws, regulations, and controls  Low uncertainty avoidance score shows a society less concerned about ambiguity and uncertainty  More tolerance towards variety and experimentation  Less rule-orientated, readily accepts change and is willing to take risks 4. Masculinity vs. Femininity – degree societies reinforce, or do not reinforce, the traditional masculine work role model of male achievement, control, and power  High masculinity score indicates country experiencing high degree of gender differentiation  Males tend to dominate a significant portion of the society and power structure  Low masculinity score means society has lower leve l of differentiation and inequality between genders  Females are treated equally to males in all aspects 5. Long vs. Short-Term Orientation –values and orientations that society has towards life, describes their time horizon (fixed point of time in the future at which point certain processes will be evaluated)  High long term orientation score means the society foster virtues oriented towards future rewards  Emphasis on persistence, order relationships by status, thrifty, have sense of shame  Low long term (short term) orientation score means virtues related to past and present  Emphasis on quick results, status not major issue in relationships, spends, preservation of face and fulfilling social obligations Lecture 2 – Research Methods in Cross-Cultural Psychology Phases of Cross-Cultural Research (*possible exam question*) Methodologies Defining Field  Phase 1: Cross-Cultural Comparisons  Research that compares groups on a psychological variable  Serve as the cornerstone of cross-cultural research – key concepts that are similar or different for various groups  Rivers  Compared individuals from England, rural India, and New Guinea on responses on horizontal-vertical illusions tasks  Task where there’s a tendency for observers to overestimate the length of a vertical line relative to a horizontal line of the same length  Cross-cultural differences in susceptibility to this illusion have been noted  Argued that people who dwell in enclosed areas, such as urban cities or forests, have less opportunity to Corinne Ho Cross-Cultural Psychology 4 Lecture Notes see horizon on for great distances so they would be less influenced to the illusion than people who live in very open rural environments (because in open environments, height in the plane is a key depth cue)  Indicated that Western people are less susceptible than Non-Western people because Non-Western people may tend to live in more open areas so they see the horizon and calculate that the distance from the point that they’re standing to the horizon is far and long (that’s why vertical lines seem longer)  Results: Individuals from India and New Guinea were more fooled by the illusions than individuals from England  Reason: Because of less buildings in their environment, individuals from India and New Guinea judge long-distance areas by using and relying more on depth cues  Someone with more opportunities at looking at horizontal expanses, such as people in rural areas, have tendency to infer longer distance vertically  If groups do differ, are we justified to conclude that it is culture that really made the difference? What is culture? What defines it?  Phase 2: Ecological-Level Studies  Research that utilizes countries and cultures as the unit of analysis  Researchers are able to make conclusions about the culture as a whole  Data is obtained from individuals in different cultures then averaged for each culture and these averages are used as data points for each culture  Hofstede  Factor analyses of 72 countries on values regarding work and business  Great framework to predict and explain cultural differences  Identified 4 dimensions of culture (there’s also a recent 5 t h dimension)  *See Lecture 1 for description of dimensions*  because the main unit of analysis is culture, it is not certain how applicable the findings are on the individual level  How do these dimensions play out on the individual level?  Phase 3: Cultural Studies  Research that utilizes complex theories of culture and self  End products are in-depth descriptions of cultural practices and mechanisms underlying cultural differences  Provides rich descriptions of complex models of culture that predict and explain differences  Goes beyond mean differences (of cross-cultural comparisons) because it involves comparing how certain variables are related across cultures  Mesquita  Looked at emotions in individualistic and collectivistic cultures  Emotions defined by multiple components Corinne Ho Cross-Cultural Psychology 5 Lecture Notes  Individualistic cultures encourage independent senses of self that focus on personal concerns and deem emotions to signal subjective feelings  Collectivistic cultures encourage interdependent senses of self that focus on social (i.e. in-group) worth and deem emotions to reflect interpersonal relations  Interviewed indigenous Dutch group (represent individualistic cultures) and African Surnamese and Turkish groups (represent collectivist) in Netherlands  Respondents asked to describe an example of a particular situation (i.e. offense by an intimate other) then respond to questions pertaining to that situation (i.e. “in a scale of 1- 3, will another person find this situation as unpleasant as you did?”)  Emotions differed greatly for both cultures – collectivist emotions were defined and perceived as indicative of interpersonal relations, whereas individualist emo tions focused less on social environment  Rather than categorizing emotions as being self- and other- focused, one can start talking about emotions being instantiated in self- or other-focused ways  How accurate are these models to the real world? How do th ese concepts link to observed differences?  Phase 4: Linkage Studies  Research that involves quantifying an aspect of culture that produces differences and determining how it links to a variable of interest  Establish linkages between contents of culture and psychological variables of interest  Two types of linkage studies: Experiments and Unpackaging studies  Experiment – researchers create conditions to establish cause- effect relationships (i.e. priming, behavioral)  Unpackaging Studies – cross-cultural comparison that include the measurement of variable that assesses the concepts of culture hypothesized to produce differences  Culture is a summary label that explains cultural differences  Task is to explain differences in terms of context variables that help make them, and develop a way to quantify these variables  A main concept is the direction of the relationship between the aspect of culture and the variable Summary of Methods of Cross-Cultural Research Method Name Research Question Method Results Limitations Cross-Cultural Are the cultures Participants in Demonstrates Cannot be sure Comparisons different on the two or more that people of what aspect of (Phase 1) psychological cultures are different culturesculture produced variable of interest? measured on adiffer on differences psychological psychological Corinne Ho Cross-Cultural Psychology 6 Lecture Notes variable and theirvariable responses are compared Ecological-Level What are cultural Data for cultures Demonstrates Cultural level Studies (Phase 2) dimensions that exist(averaged cultural means onfindings not on ecological level? responses from psychological applicable on How are cultural members of variable related individual level dimensions related toculture or data to cultural psychological associated with dimensions on variables on culture) cultural level ecological level? compared Cultural Studies What aspects of Participants in Demonstrations Cannot be sure (Phase 3) culture are related totwo or more that people of cultural psychological cultures different culturesprocesses processes? measured on differ on associated with psychological psychological theoretical variable and theirvariable framework is responses what accounts for compared done the differences with theoretical framework of why differences may occur Linkage Studies How are specific and Specific aspects Demonstrates Cannot be sure measurable aspects ofof culture that specific what other culture empirically measured or aspects of culturespecific aspects related to manipulated and are empirically of culture may be psychological then empirically related and thus better processes? related to accounts for explanations of psychological cultural differences or variable differences on that the culture psychological is causing the variable difference Issues in Cross-Cultural Research Equivalence  To render the results meaningful, the variable of interest needs to carry equal meaning for the cultures involved and if not, then the results will be biased in one or another  Basically the similarities in conceptual meaning and empirical method between cultures that allows comparisons to be meaningful  Lack of equivalence = bias  Methods include: (*possible exam question*)  Linguistic – semantic equivalence of research protocols across various languages; use of back translation and committee approach  Measurement – degree to which measures in different cultures are equally valid and reliable (cross-cultural validation); use of validation studies  Sampling – degree to which samples are representative of their culture and equivalent on noncultural demographic variables; use of experimental controls  Procedure – Equivalence in procedures used to collect data in different cultures; use of experimenter controls  Theoretical – equivalence in meaning of overall theoretical framework being tested and specific hypotheses being addressed; use of experimenter control Kohlberg’s vs. Gilligan’s Morality Corinne Ho Cross-Cultural Psychology 7 Lecture Notes  Kohlberg outlined the levels of moral development that begin with moral decisions based on rewards/punishments to operating based on abstract concepts of justice and fairness  Gilligan distinguished orientations that operate on males and females (justice vs. care) Response Bias  To render results meaningful, the way participants respond to the testing methods (e.g. items on the questionnaire) should reflect true/natural responses, and not simply a systematic tendency to respond to these testing methods  It’s basically the systematic tendency to respond in a certain way to items or scales  Examples include: (*possible exam question*)  Socially desirable responding – tendency to give answers that make self look good  Acquiescence bias – tendency to agree to items  Extreme response bias – tendency to use ends of scale  Reference group effect – tendency to implicitly compare themselves to others in their group Johnson et al.  Examined Hofstede’s dimensions in 19 countries on tendencies to adopt the extreme responding boas and agreement bias  Results: Individualist nations less likely to provide agreement responses and cultures with high masculinity and high power distance were likely to select extreme responses  Japanese use avoidance more than Americans, whereas Americans use more assertion than Japanese in dealing with conflict  American mothers emphasize social skills to children, whereas Chinese mothers highlight academic skills  Hungarians engage in more self-disclosure to partners than Russians and Georgians  But how much is the difference between these groups of people? We need to consider Cultural Effect Size and look at Correlation vs. Causal Studies Cultural Effect Size  If significant statistics are found, it does not necessarily mean that these reflect fundamental differences among individuals belonging in the culture  Misinterpretations can lead to stereotypes and discriminations  Cultural effect size measures the degree to which the observed group differences are represented on the individual level Correlation vs. Causal Studies  Causation cannot be inferred on any correlational finding, no matter how strong this relation may be  Caution needs to always be raised – direction of causation still be to be determined Going Beyond What We Know – From Concepts to Concrete Corinne Ho Cross-Cultural Psychology 8 Lecture Notes Abstract to Specific  Objective and subjective elements of culture  It’s the cultural group’s characteristic way of perceiving its social environment – Triandis  Objective aspects like tools, roads, clothes, dwellings  Subjective are beliefs, attitudes, norms, roles, myths, values, etc.  Subjective culture can be decomposed into key elements that include psychological processes such values, beliefs, norms, attitudes, and worldviews  Subjective – domain and dimension (individualism-collectivism is one of the well studied among Hofstede’s dimensions)  Markus & Kitayama  Individualism/collectivism = self construals  Self-construal – representation about the self that impacts psychological processes  Independent self-construal – sees self as separate from others; core units of self defined in terms of one’s abilities, opinions, characteristics  (*Possible exam question*) Independent items on self- construal scale include: “I’d rather say no directly, than risk being misunderstood” or “speaking up during a class is not a problem for me” or “I am the same person at home that I am at school”  Interdependent self-construal – self not separate from others; defined by interpersonal relationships  (*Possible exam question*) Interdependent items include: “I have respect for authority figure with whom I interact” or “It is important for me to maintain harmony within my group” or “my happiness depends on the happiness of those around me”  Lecture 3 – Culture and Development In the beginning, we were born without culture but we were also born with the mechanism to learn culture to help survive in the society we are born into Socialization and Enculturation These two concepts complement each other because one is the process and the outcome  Socialization – process of ensuring that standards of behaviors, beliefs, attitudes conform to the society one lives in  Enculturation – standards of behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes that an individual learns and internalizes Development Niche Model This developmental niche is theoretical framework for understanding and analyzing how culture shapes child development  Developed by Super and Harkness  This niche is seen as the composite of three interacting subsystems (*possible exam question*): Corinne Ho Cross-Cultural Psychology 9 Lecture Notes 1. Physical and social settings – who is there, what affordances are provided by the physical space 2. Child rearing practices and customs – inherited and adapted ways of nurturing, entertaining, educating, and protecting the child 3. Caretakers’ psychology – parental ethnotheories of parenting  These subsystems share the common function of mediating the child’s developmental experience within the larger culture Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological System This system talks about 5 different types of nested environmental systems with bi-directional influences within and between the systems  Identifies 5 environmental systems that an individual interacts with (*possible exam question*): 1. Microsystem – institutions and groups that immediately and directly impact the child’s development such as family, school, religious institutions, neighborhood, and peers 2. Mesosystem – relations between microsystems across contexts like how your family experiences relate with school experiences  Example: if your parents rejected you, you may have difficulty developing positive relationship with teachers 3. Exosystem – links between a social setting in which the individual does not have an active role and the individual’s immediate context  Example: a child’s experience at home may be influenced by the father’s experience at work like maybe the father had a promotion which means he has to stay at the office longer and might change patterns of interaction with the child 4. Macrosystem – describes the culture in which individuals live which has to do with cultural contexts such as being part of either a developing or industrialized country, your socioeconomic status, poverty, and ethnicity  A child, their parents, school, and their parent’s workplace are all part of this large cultural context  Members of this cultural group share common identity, heritage, and values  Evolves over time because each generation is able to change it leading to their own unique macrosystem 5. Chronosystem – patterning of environmental events and transitions over the life course which includes sociohistorical circumstances (like when women opportunities to pursue a career has increased)  Example: divorces are one transition and how it has negative effects on children during different times of their life Ji Ji examined how change is perceived culturally  Expectations: 1. East Asians take a holistic perspective of events – evens unfold nonlinearly 2. North Americans, on the other hand, take a more analytic view of events – trends will continue in the same direction as in the pas t Corinne Ho Cross-Cultural Psychology 10 Lecture Notes  Methods used to compare:  Compared Chinese and Canadian children aged 7, 9, and 11 years old  They read scenarios about a past state of affairs (i.e. a child in the story who is always sad)  Then they were asked to predict a future state of affair (i.e. how the child in the story would feel tomorrow)  “Among all these states, which would be the state of the character in the story for the next period of time”  Results and Conclusions:  With age, Canada children show increase in the likelihood that current trends will continue (particular higher likelihood in all three ages relative to China children)  Similar with children from China although the likelihood remains pretty stable between the age of 9 and 11  With age, children learn different theories of change according to their corresponding cultures  Cultural differences in change perception become greater over time  Does this mean that the most pronounced differences are among adults?  Experiment 1:  Chinese and American adults read four scenarios and asked whether a change would occur:  Example: “Vincent has been the chess champion for three years in high school. How likely is it that he will lose the next game against his strongest opponent?”  Asked to provide probability judgment to each question (0- 100%)  Result: Chinese, for each of four events, were more likely than Americans to think that the future would be different from the past Sensitive Periods for Acquiring Culture We become enculturated in time  Early childhood is a special and critical time for socialization – this is the period of learning the basics that set the stage for future learning  Is there a sensitive period for socialization?  Sensitive period – period of time in development that permits relative ease in learning or skill acquisition  Has been found in other areas of development such as acquisition of absolute pitch and binocular vision and most notably, language acquisition  Because we are sensitive to and readily learn societal standards, is there a sensitive window to learn culture?  Yes, sensitivity to attending to the meanings and standards provided by social environments and to organizing lives around them  Cheung et al.  Examined if there is a sensitive period for acquisition of culture or if people acquire culture at the same rate, regardless of age Corinne Ho Cross-Cultural Psychology 11 Lecture Notes  Focus of the study was on immigrants adapting to a new culture where they were born in one cultural context and then move into another cultural context  Expectations: if moved after sensitive period, there will be difficulty adjusting but if moved before sensitive period, more receptive to adopting new culture  They looked at Hong Kong immigrants to Vancouver (aged 18-60) and were asked for information about identification with (so the culture they were born in which is Hong Kong and the new culture which is Canada)  Example: “It is important for me to maintain and develop practices of my heritage culture” or “I enjoy typical North American jokes and humor”  Results and Conclusions:  With the increase in the years spent in Canada, younger individuals (age 0-15) would show an increase in self-reported identification with the Canadian culture  After age of 15, it’s more difficult to identify with new culture  Meanwhile, the older group (age 31-60) showed a decrease in identification with Canadian culture even after many years spent in Canada  Findings suggest a sensitive period for culture acquisition Parents and Parenting Parents serve as one of the key agents of socialization for the child  They socialize through (*possible exam question*): A. Goals they foster in their children B. Parenting styles adopted C. Other practices engaged in  Parenting Goals  Parents want their children to grow into competent and productive adults  Competence or productiveness is culturally defined so it varies across cultures  Chao  Examined parental beliefs on the role of parenting in children’s success  Expectations: based on cross-cultural comparison between Asian American and European American parental involvement and we should see that former value education is valued strongly and having high expectations / standards for schooling ensures school success  Method:  Interviewed Chinese immigrant mothers and European American mothers on how they felt about their parenting affects their children’s school achievement  Mothers’ responses were analyzed to identify key themes that arose  Results: Corinne Ho Cross-Cultural Psychology 12 Lecture Notes  Chinese mothers greatly valued education and stated high, directive involvement in ensuring the development of academic skills  European American mothers emphasized social skills and self-esteem and opted for a less directive approach to learning  Conclusions:  Parental beliefs about the role of parenting in children’s outcomes differed  These were reflected in the different parenting practices they engaged in  Parenting styles  Dimensions and Styles (*possible exam question*):  Uninvolved – low warmth, low control (“me first, then you maybe”)  Authoritarian – low warmth, high control (“my way or no way”)  Permissive – high warmth, low control (“yes, all the way”)  Authoritative – high warmth, high control (“not now because”)  Conroy et al.  Examined different maternal control strategies to get children to comply  Expectations:  Japanese mothers rely on persuasion and reasoning in gaining compliance  American mothers rely on rewards and punishments to gain compliance  Method:  Interviewed Japanese and American mothers  Mothers read six hypothetical scenarios depicting child
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