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PSYC14_Lec 2.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough

PSYC14 Lecture 2: PY Date: Sept 20, 2012 Looking at the diff methods used to study the concepts of cross-cultural psych Reasons to learn more about the diff methods used in CC psych: 1) We want to become responsible researchers, want to know a bit about the background 2) We want to be informed consumers of research a. Sometimes, theres controversial findings that may lead to fundamental changes in our lives b. So being informed means not just blindly accepting findings but actually evaluating them first and then determine whether or not you want to accept them c. B4 we make changes, we want to know if they are justified changes Today: looking at the methods used, evolution of the field; issues that come up in conducting research; what happens do we go from the abstract concepts that we know to something thats more relevant/accessible? Evolution of research in CC psych: o Can be examined by the diff methods that were/are used in the field o These methods defined the type of info that can be obtained and also the types of info that we cant obtain o Make changes to methods so we get more comprehensive ones o The methods are still used and they arent mutually exclusive of each other, they build on top of each other actually; each has their own benefits and challenges o The emphasis is placed on which methods are more impt o Backbone of CC psych is CC comparisons: These types of studies involve taking diff groups and comparing them on a particular psychological variable Researcher expects that one of the groups scores higher on the variable compared to the other Ex) looking at parenting styles of Eastern and Western cultures or comparing aggressive behaviours between males and females; risk-taking beh of young adults and older adults Typically, using this method, we learn a lot about the similarities and differences between the groups and we also learn about the universality/generalizability of some of the concepts we derive because they serve that purpose, they define the first phase of CC psych in terms of primary research method One of the first CC comparisons ever conducted: Rivers interested in how diff groups perform in optical illusion task Examined ppl from England, New Guinea and rural India and how they responded to the vertical-horizontal illusion task One vertical and one horizontal line and these lines can vary in length; persons task is to judge whether lines are diff lengths Tendency to see vertical line as being longer b/c we tend to look at that line as a cue for how far something is away from us (distance) even though both lines are same length Ppl from India and New Guinea were more fooled by the illusion o Why is there a difference? Something biological/ environmental/ cognitive? Conclusion: difference came from the enviro ppl are exposed to; ppl from rural india and New Guinea = less buildings and are therefore more likely to use depth cues (rely on those types of cues to gauge long distances); not so much for ppl from England 1 PSYC14 Lecture 2: PY Date: Sept 20, 2012 o India/New Guinea more likely to see the lines as 3D; more likely to situate it so they misjudge them Now that we have this difference, do we take this to mean that the difference is because of culture? o Not necessarily; what youre doing in stats analysis is that youve found a statistical evidence AGAINST the null hypothesis (idea that theres no difference) theres a non-zero diff between the groups o We dont know how big the difference is o Why is there a difference? Could be cultural or not; the groups can differ in various ways; some could be cultural and some no and these factors could be driving the differences rather than culture o b/c the interpretations about the source of differences in CC comparisons are quite limited, the researchers felt that it is significant for them to identify key dimensions that may cause the differences that they found o so impt to move from individual groups TO culture or country as a group became unit of analysis led to phase II o Phase II = ecological-level studies These studies help to identify potential sources of differences within the country/culture itself so that when you conduct research, your conclusions will be more appropriate for that culture Study: Hofsteade conducted factor-analysis on work-related values in 72 countries o From this study, found that there are 5 dimensions of culture: a) Individualism vs. collectivism * most popular b) Power distance c) Uncertainty avoidance d) Masculinity e) Long-term vs. short-term orientation Using the individual vs. collectivism dimension, a lot of researchers have conducted studies to try to identify them in behaviors of cultures So, now that we know about dimensions, that moves the field forward b/c we know about culture itself, what defines culture. But it still doesnt solve our problem of what causes the individual differences? Individual level is still very relevant o When we talk about individualistic cultures, we cant assume that all members of individualistic cultures actually adopt these values. Same thing for collectivistic cultures. So the individual level is still important. This spurned the next phase. Phase III = Cultural studies: o Cultural studies are great b/c provide us w/ in-depth, rich theories that account for (basis of) cultural differences o They move the field forward b/c we move from the cultural dimensions to something at the individual level concepts at the individual level o Study: Mesquita looked at individualism and collectivism in terms of ppls INDIVIDUAL emotions 2PSYC14 Lecture 2: PY Date: Sept 20, 2012 Realized the differences at the cultural level vs. the individual level but he said that across ppl w/in each of these, they would show emotions in specific patterns; in general, thats how ppl in the culture will behave Predicted that collectivistic cultures would be defining themselves in terms of interpersonal relationships (others, the world); so the emotions would reflect the states of these relationships (relationship going well or not well?) Individualistic cultures more likely to define themselves in terms of something subjective/personal to them (emotions would be reflective of the state of the self) So, EMOTION would be an avenue to look at the dimension of individualism and collectivism Interviewed Dutch ppl (represented individualistic culture) and Surnamese and Turkish ppl in Netherlands (represented collectivistic culture) Asked: provide example of when an intimate other has offended you; then asked questions pertaining to this particular situation o On scale from 1(no) to 3(yes) will another experiencing this event will they be as offended as you had?
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