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Midterm1 Exam Notes

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Sisi Tran

Midterm 1 Study Notes PSYC14H3 Cultural Psychology Integrated Notes (Text/ Supplementary/Lecture) Chapter 1 - Culture and Human Nature - A Psychology for a Cultural Species -culture to mean two different things -1)a particular kind of information acquired through social learning that is capable of affecting an individuals behaviors -culture is any kind of idea, belief, technology, habit, or practice that is acquired through learning from others -2)a particular group of individuals - existing within some kind of shared context - Is Culture Unique to Humans? -Theory of Mind -people understand that others have minds that are different from their own, and thus that other people have perspectives and intentions that are different from their own -evident in humans across all cultures, and develops at a fairly similar rate across cultures - 2 kinds of cultural Learning -in imitative learning the learner internalizes something of the models goals and behavioral strategies -emulative learning, the learning is focused on the environmental events that are involved - how the use of one object could potentially effect changes in the state of the environment -the key difference - emulative learning does not require imitating a models behavioral strategies. An emulative learner is not only focusing on what the model appears to be doing, rather than what the model intends to accomplish -the cultural information thus grows in complexity, and often in utility, over time -this process is called the ratchet effect -psychological mechanisms can undergo cumulative cultural evolution as well -ex. mathematical reasoning -this kind of cultural evolution is not possible unless cultural learning is of the highest fidelity, when individuals are able to understand a models intentions, mimic them, and then, only when the models behaviors are successfully imitated , build on them to allow for cultural evolution -big brain -social brain hypothesis - those primates who were most successful at navigating the intricate and elaborate webs of social relationships would have been more likely to attract mates, secure resources and protect themselves and their offspring from dangers than those who were left to fend for themselves - The Magic 150 -figure based on their large neocortex ratio, taking into account the relation between neocortex ratio and average group size -cognitive capacity to keep track of approximately 150 relations -Psychological Universals and Variability Condense 1 - Monday, November 7, 2011 -Richard Shweder, argues that much of the field inherently assumes that the minds operates under a set of natural and universal laws that are independent from content or context -general psychologists tend to conceive of the mind as a highly abstract central processing unit (CPU) that operates independently of the content that it is thinking about or of the context which it is thinking -according to this perspective of general psychology, important cultural variation in ways of thinking cannot exist because cultures merely provide variations in context and content that lie outside the operations of the underlying CPU -If cultural differences do appear in psychological studies, this universalist perspective would suggest that they must reflect the contamination of various sources of noise, such as translation errors, or the differences in familiarity that people have with being in psychological experiments -in contrast, an assumption that tends to be embraced by cultural psychologists is that in many ways the mind does not operate independently of what it is thinking about -many cultural psychologists would argue that culture cannot be separated from the mind because culture and mind make each other up -the strongest case for universality can be made when it could be said that a given cognitive tool exist in all cultures, is used to solve the same problem across cultures, and is accessible to the same degree across cultures -this level of universality is termed an accessibility universal -the second level of universality is termed a functional universal -here a cognitive tool exists in multiple cultures, it is used to solve the same problems across cultures, yet it is more accessible to people from some cultures than others -the fourth level in the hierarchy reflects an absence of universality and is termed, a non-universal -cognitive tools that are non-universals do not exist in all cultures and can be said to be cultural inventions Tribes and Super-tribes -man didnt evolve as fast biologically/ genetically as much as he did technologically -feeding behavior -hunting- encouraged tribe + cooperation -farming - later could produce more than what they needed so others could devote time and energy to other tasks -urban revolution -didnt just happen, random locations - and then slowly spread and grew -soon urban centre began to communicate and share with others -basic characteristics of a tribe -super-tribe -a citizen = super-tribesmen -key difference: in super tribe, he no longer knows personally each member of his community -artificial inflation of human social life -isolating law makes one culture different from another -started living closer to animals - zoonosesMidterm 1 Study Notes PSYC14H3 -population becomes denser -when the balance of a simple tribe was disturbed we created constructs like tyranny and dictatorship -stealing and murder is natural - thats why we have laws against them -all cultures have equivalent things - ie. rite of passage -as languages become universal, dialects and accent become important Lecture 1: Intro - Commonalities among definitions of culture -Humans Interact with Environments -culture is both constrained and shaped by a groups habitat -adaptive to the environment -people develop language, writing, tools, skills, abstract ideas, moral and aesthetic standards, social patterns norms... in adapting to their ecosystems -Culture Consists of Shared Elements -people share language, time, geographic region -Transmission to Others -vertical -horizontal -oblique - institutions -enculturation - process of transmitting cultural elements to others in ones own community, serves as a source of continuity -acculturation - another form of transmission that takes place from
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