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Lecture 2

Lecture 2.docx

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Simone Walker

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Lecture 2  Psychologist patricia greenfield was interested in examining diff personality traits across cultures  Decided to contrast north American undergrads with Zinacantencans (mexico)  She interview them using samples that have been validated in north American samples -> surveys were developed using north American students  The items in the surveys are independent – don’t constitute a convo  Good surveys don’t ask only one question regarding specific question; ie extraversion; will ask the questions in slightly diff ways -> reduces measurement error  Greenfield used inventory to asses extraversion in zinatsc.  Z were angry at the end of the interview bc they had diff expectations about how the interview would proceed -> thought that the interview would proceed like convo but when they answered questions she proceeded with interview asking another question  Example illustrates the challenge of conducting research across cultures -> just bc one measure is validated in one culture it doesn’t mean that it will be interpreted in the same way in the other culture  The extent to which cultural psy are interested in questions that cut across an array of subfields in psy they use the methods that are associated with that subfield -> ie will use surveys to measure extraversion across cultures  Every method is associated with limitations  If use surveys will inherit socially desirable responding – we have a tendency to present ourselves in more positive light  Cultural psy inherits the problems associated with the methods but also new problems arise bc comparing across cultures  How conversational norms can influence interaction btw participant and experimenter, their understanding how the survey works- how you have to respond, will influence how participants respond in those situations and the types of data that you get  First question that have to ask is what you will study; many of the topics for research come from our own experiences  Cultural psy are not interested in just concepts like self esteem they are also interested in the relationships btw concepts as well -> ie relationship btw self esteem and academic performance -> does that relationship differ across cultures?  Cultural psy are also interested in whether or not we are thinking about individual functioning – the extend to which individuals in diff cultures behave in certain ways  Psy also do cultural level studies – the extent to which cultures are the units of analysis; cultures are compared, ie whether or not the average level of self esteem differs across cultures  Most of the time theory guides what you study  Cultural psy are also interested in what cultures we study; don’t randomly select the cultures that want to compare ->can yield cultural diff but how do you interpret those diff?  The theory will guide what cultures you choose to compare bc can use the theory to interpret those results  Moved away from just being interested in finding cultural diff; now interested in trying to explain why we see those diff  It is important to have a theory to guide which cultures you want to compare  Ie; looking at how collectivism shapes how people view relationships; theories about what collectivism is and how collectivism can influence how we view relationships – can be used to guide which cultures you choose; might select cultures that differ in terms of their collectivism; ie north American sample vc east Asian sample  But how do you know that the two cultures differ in terms of collectivism  Cultural psy are also interested in developing measures that we can use to measure these types of cultural values; ie: triandasis – measure of collectivism and individualism ->called individual level measures of culture  There is another way to decide which cultures you will select  Ie might be interested in not the diff btw cultures but at whether a particular phenomena is universal  To see if something is universal should choose cultures that are maximally diff from each other (ie; religion, geography, education etc)  If the two cultures are diff in many aspects but still find the same thing in these cultures -> good evidence of universalism  Ie; is theory of mind universal? is it something about western cultures that give rise to this understanding or is it universal?  Ie avis and haris study compared American kids vs baka culture (people who live in rainforest in Africa; they are hunter gathers and are nonliberate people; had very little exposure to western traditions) -> american and baka are maximally diff cultures  Used smarties task to assess the theory of mind in baka kids  Found that baka kids performed on the task in a very similar way to American kids -> evidence that theory of mind constitutes a universal (accessibility universal – seen in the two cultures in the same way and to the same extent)  How do you make meaningful comparisons btw cultures?  Bias – diff that don’t have the same meaning within cultures or across cultures  Conceptual bias – the extent to which a concept doesn’t mean the same thing in diff cultures  Equivalence – the state or condition of similarity in conceptual meaning and empirical method between cultures-> what you need to make meaningful cross cultural comparisons  In order to compare the two cultures on intelligence, the two cultures have to have the same understanding about what intelligence is  Equivalence and bias are mutually exclusive; if bias then don’t have equivalence; if have equivalence than have no bias  In order to make meaningful comparisons we have to investigate how much bias there is in all diff aspects of research process bc want to achieve equivalence across cultures that we are comparing  Majority of the studies are about north America, done by north American experimeters, using north American samples  to the extent that north americans study people from their own culture, they can use their own experiences to guide studies that they create and how they interpret the findings  cultural psy who compare diff cultures don’t have those experiences bc they study people who are not from their culture -> not clear how your own experiences generalize to other cultures and how your own experiences bias how you interpret behavior of people from another culture  ie; Scandinavian researchers wanted to see if there are variations in the family meals  chose part of rural india; contacted psy from that part of india and asked him to arrange a family meal; he agreed to do that but didn’t tell that there is no family meal in that part of india  during the meal there was little convo and everyone was uncomfortable  drew conclusions that family meals are awkward and uncomfortable i
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