PSY230H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Geert Hofstede, Individualism, Samburu PeoplePremium
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Lecture 10 – the cultural approach.
Culture – an ever-changing, constructive stimulus which shapes the way individuals
perceive and contribute the world.
II. Influenced by members of the culture.
III. Influenced members of the culture.
➢ What is culture?
1. 2 ways to think about culture
I. A kind of information – information that is acquired from other people
one’s species through social learning that is capable of affecting
II. A particular group – a group of individuals who are existing within some
kind of shared context (place, values and beliefs).
▪ We assign different meanings to different things across cultures based on
values and religious practices. (ex. Agricultural products)
▪ People consider different things as important across cultures.
▪ People have different social norms in different cultures, and how strictly
we follow or enforce these social norms.
2. 3 ways to think about culture
I. Nationality – country or region of the world a person lives in.
II. Ethnicity – the cultural heritage.
- The background of family members is also important.
III. Identification – the degree to which you include group membership in your
self-concept or sense of who you are.
3. Meaning system
▪ Symbols, languages, experiences
- Beliefs about the world, universe, & existence.
➢ Describing culture
1. 4 factors identified by Geert Hofstede
1) Individualism/Collectivism – the degree to which people in a society are
integrated into groups.
▪ Individualism – emphasize personal achievement and being competitive,
even at the expense of others.
- Greater emphasis on competition.
- Eg. Canada, Western Europe.
▪ Collectivism – emphasize on social roles and collective responsibilities,
even at the expense of the individual.
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- Sacrifice what’s best for you and do what’s best for the community.
- More emphasis on co-operation.
- Eg. China, Korea, Latin America.
2) Power distance – the extent to which the less powerful members of
organizations and institutions accept and expect that power is distributed
▪ High power distance – acceptance of established hierarchies within
society and acceptancy of inequality.
- Eg. Russia.
▪ Low power distance – tendency to challenge established hierarchies and
to stand up against inequality.
- Eg. Norway, Finland, Denmark.
3) Uncertainty avoidance – a society’s tolerance for ambiguity.
▪ High uncertainty avoidance – very little tolerance of ambiguity. Belief
that one lone truth dictates.
▪ Low uncertainty avoidance – greater tolerance of ambiguity. More
acceptance of differing thoughts/ideas.
▪ Masculinity – a preference in society for achievement, heroism,
assertiveness and material rewards for success.
- Eg. Japan.
▪ Femininity – a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak
and quality of life.
- Eg. Norway and Finland.
➢ Why is culture important?
1. Study (Herrmann et al., 2007)
- 2.5-year-old child and chimpanzee approach physical problem-solving
tasks and social problem-solving tasks.
- The child and the chimpanzees behave similarly in the physical solving
task, whereas in the social problem solving task the child did better
than the chimpanzees.
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