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PSY100.Lecture (8).docx

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Dan Dolderman

PSY100: Culture Cultures Provide Frameworks for Meaning -cultures provide general frameworks of meaning, shared understandings, myths, stories, etc., all of which guide our thinking and provide and interpretive frame to help us ‘make sense’ of our experience -it is not that different from a collective mind, and just like “mind” is an adaptive organism, seeking to “fit” the organism to its circumstances, cultural trends arise for good reason, and much can be learned by taking a functionalist approach to the study of culture -ex. going to get a cappuccino can have many different meanings depending on culture Cultures as Adaptation -“Different economies and ecologies lead to different cultural adaptations. Important work has been done to show this, and any consideration of cultural differences must take this as a starting point. Just as different ecological niches have led to different adaptations in animal species, so have different environmental niches led to differences in cultural adaptations.” – Dov Cohen -why are the US South and West so violent?  stereotypes  historic examples (no-rules fighting) The Culture of Honour -archival data: more argument-related murders in South (especially in hills and dry plains, compared to moist plains), “hawkish” international policy, right to bear arms, capital punishment -survey data: ex. killing in defense of your home, or to average an attacked family member (23% vs. 47%); hiring a murderer if related to honour -experiments:  “asshole study”: % change in testosterone after argument: control vs. experiment o north: less testosterone o south: more testosterone, primed for aggression biologically  chicken study: control vs. experiment o north: back off earlier after insult o south: back off close to man after insult -cultures evolved in different time periods  S/W more about farming, N/E more about ranches The Terrible Twos -culture starts early -in North America, the emergence of the self is universally accompanied by insanity -screaming fits, rage, extreme volatility -and this is seen as good, it’s the healthy emergence of the will, and negotiating this stage successfully leads to a secure child who is appropriately assertive, etc. -not a universal cliché: other cultures around the world in
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