PSYC14 Lecture 4: PY
Slide 3: Instructor BG Info
o Poetry creativity: how do ppl create poems? looked at the process of creating culture
o Metaphors: symbolism 2 communicate msg (whether visual or verbal msg) took visual
metaphors from one culture and see whether or not they convey same msg to audience
of diff culture yes they do! As long as visual, theres general ability to convey msg,
although might be slightly diff msg
o Syllogistic reasoning process:
If all A are B, and if all B are C, is it true that all A are C?
To see if all ppl, regardless of culture, can do this task equally well?
Some cultures arent very good at this task in lit
o Relationship btn tech and culture
What happens in workplace, specifically when workplace becomes virtual
context? Team members on other side of the world
Theres a traditional office culture; how is this culture translated?
Cultural diversity: team comprised of members from many diff cultures
Does diversity help or hinder? How to make sure that is the case?
o How do you conceptualize self?
Our self-definition is by cultural background
Certain cultures emphasize diff self-constructs
How does the self relate to motivations to use social media; for getting online
How does the motivation we may have, the self-concept relate to the stuff that
we do when online?
The types of identities constructed on FB and how we conceptualize ourselves in
the culture that we live in.
Compare CDN students and Spanish students
Slide 5: Culture and Cognition
1) Cognition defined
2) Cognitive universals
o What parts of cognition found in all cultures?
o What is true/universal about cognition?
3) cognitive specifics
o Specific cog processes that are culturally contextualized
4) intelligence and culture
o Is it possible to talk about intelligence and cultural differences at the same time?
Slide 6: Cognition is
The set of mental processes that we use to look at world & collect info and transform it to
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These mental processes include:
How we focus our limited mental resources on some stimuli or others?
Attend to great detail some parts of enviro and ignore/shallowly process others
Collecting info using our sensory sys (5 senses)
Discrete pieces of info (smell/taste etc;) come in as we sense the world around
Integrating the pieces of sensory info that we pick up about world
Put them together and do basic interpretation
Ex) bright, burning smell, hot would process as fire
o Higher-order fxns of minds
Prob most impt part of cognition
Elaborating on basic perception
Interpreting and using the info youve taken in
Decide what course of action to take given whats going on around you
How you fit in? what you should do?
Include thinking, reasoning, decision making, memory, problem solving
Ex) As we perceive fire, higher order fxning lets us know whether something like
forest fire or cook fire at campsite; lets us get into even more depth so, cook
fire determine if big enough fire to cook on; maybe not right type of fire etc;
Slide 7: Fundamental Questions that Cross-cultural psychologists ask about Cognition
Despite culture, are there similarities in the ways that ppl think?
o Look 4 unity within diversity
o What is same about cognition regardless of BG and where we come from?
How does cognition differ based on culture?
o Certain cultures may specialize in certain cognitive processes
o Specific contexts of culture and how do they shape cognition in diff ways
o Etics are Universal
o Emics are Culturally Specific
Slide 8: Sensing the World
Clear that there are certain parts of sensation that occur regardless of what culture youre in
Culture doesnt mediate certain things:
o 1) Blind spot everyone has this part of retina where no receptors and therefore no
visual info coming in UNIVERSAL
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Whats SPECIFIC is: how much you notice your blind spot some cultures need
you to use your peripheral vision a lot emphasize driving; other cultures =
wont drive = wont need peripheral vision maybe wont notice blind spot as
o 2) Ability to detect primary qualities of enviro around us
We all look at the world and see that theres stuff out there that we need to
think about and interpret
What we do with the interpretation made is culturally contingent a lot of times
We can all see that there are objects in the picture, but whether or not it looks
to you to be a restaurant or not, or warm space or not culturally contingent
The perception of secondary qualities, however, is culturally specific
Ex) thinking about quality of space
We can all read the temperature on thermometer or hear the wind conditions for the day on
radio these are objective, primary, oriented qualities of space/enviro
The question is: how you actually feel? How do you experience that temp? how you experience
the conditions of the enviro?
o Is it cold? Depends on how many layers youre wearing. How many layers youre
wearing depends on your experience with this temp in past subjective experiences
So, what does culture attune us to?
o To really understand what the question is getting at, we have to note that our sensory
systems are 5 senses
o Collect info from world around us; bring that info in; and we put that info together
(basic perception/interpretation of this info)
o Perceptually speaking, how you put these discrete pieces of sensory info together
depends on culture (background, experiences in life)
Each culture seems to have its own perceptual illusions
o So each culture takes the same pieces of info that are objectively in enviro and puts
these pieces together in diff ways
o Why? Bc ppl have learned given experiences in the past- culturally-defined
experiences probably that youve got to put these pieces of info together in certain
o Mueller line illusion:
Perceptual illusion = western world
People in west live in carpentered world = a world of 90 degree angles =
predictable lines; expect that wall and floor will make 90 degree angle with each
other; b/c we expect that, weve come to accept info in the world around us in a
way that loyally represents that reality
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When we see the lines as Western audience see that theyre the same length
If add angles, it appears that segment A appears to be longer than B why is
this illusion happening for only some and not all?
Has to do w/ bg of experience of combination of lines and angles
Segment A is something that you have to walk towards b/c far away
walking into something
B this combination of lines and angles indicates that something is
protruding out towards you
So, when asked to judge the relative size of A and B youre not just
considering the vert