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PSY 235 (9)

Chapter 13

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University of Rhode Island
PSY 235
Taryn Aldrich

11/21/13 Chapter 13 Culture, religion and ethnicity Applications of personality psychology • Why study culture in a personality class? o External influences help shape our personality o Who we are, and what makes us unique individuals in part due to the values, behaviors and customs we learn from our culture Layers of group influence • “No man is an island” • We are influenced by: o Family o Peer o Social institutions o Cultural traditions o Social class • Individuals are best understood in the context o their cultures o Individual versus group effects Two approaches to studying culture • Etic o Cross cultural o Focused on generalities across cultures o Apply measures/ assessments from outside of the culture to that group • Emic o Culture specific o Focuses on a single culture o Develops assessments within the group Individualism vs. collectivism • Individualistic o Typical of Western societies o Strive to distinguish self as individual o Focus on the individual • Collectivist o Typically Eastern o Focus on the fundamental relatedness of all individuals o Focus on the group History and research on personality and culture • Contributions from cultural anthropology o Margret Mead (1920’s)  Studied adolescents on Samoa  Concluded that adolescence was not stressful in Samoa as it was in the U.S o Whiting and Whiting (1970’s)  Studied child rearing in different cultures  Found a relation between adult personality and child rearing experiences o “Cultural background of personality”  We share many principles with people from the same culture Errors of scientific inference: the cases of race  Race as an approach to grouping people o We often overgeneralize and over attribute personality characteristics based on physical characteristics  The influence of race in the U.S o The American Dilemma  Equality vs. slavery Religion  Religious identity as an aspect of personality  Spirituality as a core element of human experience  Religion can provide norms and expectations about behavior  Importance of evaluating a person in the context of institutions that influence behavior Socioeconomic influences on personality  The SES (socioeconomic status) gradient
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