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Dan Dolderman

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PSY100 #22 Cultural Psychology Dec 3-Thursday: By SiLu Liu
Cultural Psychology LAST CLASS!!!!
Cultural Psychology
-historically, psychology has been a Western-dominated science, with somewhat
different emphases coming from European, North American researchers
-we know that there is tremendous variability within culture, but theres a lot of cross-
country similarity
-e.g. all culture speak a language btw 10-70 phonemes, smiling when happy
BUT >>>
Cultures Provide Frameworks for Meaning
e.g. a college student goes out for a cappuccino. What does this mean?
- thirsty, a demonstration shes quitting her diet, an effort to wake herself up, to hook
BUT in other cultures it is not appropriate for women to go to coffee shops on their
own, not desirable to pursue a body weight less than what one currently has, sinful to
use artificial stimulants to wake yourself up, romantic relationship are arranged..
Cultural psychologist are interested in:
-cross-cultural similarities
-how different meaning systems & social norms affect how people feel, think & behave
-how people adapt to transitioning from one culture to another
-what happen when people are bi-cultural (Asian Canadian, with Asian influence from
family, community, language, and Canadian influence from their larger communities,
non-Asian friends, media, English, etc)
-where culture comes from in the first place
(very interdisciplinary)
Cultures as Adaption
Dov Cohen different economies and ecologies lead to different cultural adaption.
Important work has been done to show this and any consideration of cultural
differences must take this as>>>
-Why are the US South and West so violent?
-note the irony of good socialization violent!
-Are they? Compare the S-W with the N-E.
Culture Honour
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PSY100 #22 Cultural Psychology Dec 3-Thursday: By SiLu Liu
-more argument-related murders in South (esp. in hills & dry plains, compared to moist
-“hawkish international policy, right to beat arms, capital punishment
Survey data:
e.g. killing in defense of your home, or to avenge an attacked family member (23%n-e
vs. 47% s-w); hiring murderer if related to honour
Culture Honour Cont
*e.g. asshole study*: % change in testosterone: control vs. experiment
-being insulted, take saliva
-North: 4%-->5%
-South: 4%--> 12%
Chicken study: control vs. exp. (in ft)
-big guy come, being/not insulted
-North: 6.55
-South: havent being insulted: 9.5 ft back off, insulted: 3 ft
where ppl grow up quite change how one behaves when it comes to reaction of insult
-why would this culture of honour have evolved?
(some thinks its the land, difference in economies…crop vs. cows, stealability likelihood)
(even though initial cultural practice is no longer relevant today, culture has passed on
from generation to generation)
Cultural psychology
-the study of culture in psychology really took off in…surprise
-about 20 years ago ppl started discovering that many classic finding could not be
replicated in other cultures.
*The Terrible Twos*
-in North America, the emergence of the self is universally accompanied by insanity
-screaming fits, rage NO! is normal phenomenon
The not-so-terrible Tows
-but in tribes of Africa, in Mexico, Japan etc. this stage is remarkably less pronounced
and almost non-existent!
-the same struggle for individuation doesnt occur to the same degree, so culture is
being transmitted
The not-so fundamental Fundamental Attribution Error
(you tend to infer behaviour to personality for others, but not your self)
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