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PSYC14H3 Cultural Psychology Textbook Notes Part II.pdf

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Sisi Tran

Chapter 6: Self and Personality ▯ American focused more on how their performance reflected their own personal characteristics, whereas, the Japanese focused more on how their performance was guided by the expectations of others ▯ Culture ▯ influence our understanding of ourselves ▯ influences the ways we perceive and interact with the social world ▯ Twenty Statements Test: Who am I? I am… • It reveals how culture influences our identities in 2 levels: superficial and deep • Superficial Level: We become the identity due to being exposed to this culture, hence, culture is providing the content about the ways we think of ourselves and not about why we describe ourselves this way. For example: we would still be defining ourselves in terms of sports and music, and the differences would be that we were exposed to different kinds of sports and music, therefore, we might appear highly similar across experiences in these two diverse cultural worlds and vary only in terms of the content of things that we would be thinking about. • Deep Level: People of all over the world are able to think of themselves in terms of both abstract enduring psychological attributes and concrete roles and relationships; the degree to which we view ourselves in these two separate ways vary significantly across cultures. ▯ Case Study: Kenyans and Americans • 1 – Conduct the Twenty Statements Test on samples from both groups • Kenya – a sample of University students in Nairobi ▯ most Westernized Kenya – a sample of employed adults in Nairobi ▯ slightly less Westernized Kenya – a sample of traditionally indigenous people in Samburu and Masai ▯ least Westernized • American – a sample of undergraduates • Findings – the most popular kinds of self-descriptions for the Americans were personal characteristics, such as their traits, attitudes, and abilities • Findings – the people of Masai and Samburu generally defined themselves in terms of their social identity, such as their roles and memberships • Findings – the Kenyan University students were more similar to the American pattern, while the employees were more similar to the traditional indigenous people • Conclusions – the American pattern of emphasis on personal characteristics has emerged in many Western cultures, while the traditional indigenous people’s pattern of greater emphasis on roles and memberships appears in cultures from much of the rest of the world – these cultural differences are already evident in kindergarten ▯ Independent vs. Interdependent Views of Self – emerge in places where there are cultural practices that sustain them • Independent View of Self: self can be thought to derive its identity from its inner attributes which are stable across situations, unique configuration, self-contained in that they are perceived to arise from the individual and not from interactions with others, significant in regulation of behavior, and individuals feel an obligation to publicly advertise themselves in ways consistent with these attributes; distinct and autonomous entities whose identities are grounded in a variety of internal component features and interact with other similarly independent entities • Independent View of Self o The circle around the individual does not overlap with any borders surroundings its significant relationship ▯ the independent individual experiences her identity as largely distinct from their relationship o The border around the individual is a solid line ▯ individual’s experience are stable o The border around the in-group that separates one’s close relationships from one’s more distant relations is drawn with a dotted line to indicate its fluidity ▯ individuals with independent identities still feel much closer to in-group than out-group members but do not view them in fundamentally distinct ways ▯ self and non-self o X ▯ aspects of identities or the kinds of features that people consider when they think of themselves ▯ the larger the X, the more important o Larger X’s (i.e. personal attributes) are found within the circle of the individual • Interdependent View of Self: the self can be viewed as a relational entity that is fundamentally connected to and sustained by a number of significant relationships such that behavior is contingent upon perceptions of others’ thoughts, feelings, and actions, therefore, individuals are participants of a larger social unit • Interdependent View of Self o The border surrounding the interdependent self overlaps with an individual’s significant relationships ▯ interdependent individual’s identities are closely connected with others o The large X’s that represent the key aspects of identity for interdependent individual rests at the intersection between individual and their significant relationship ▯ the self’s identities are grounded in their relationships with others o Dotted line encapsulating the individual ▯ the identity of the person is experienced as somewhat fluid in different situations such that the experience of self will depend on the situation and the role the person is taking on at the moment o The border that separates the in-group from out-group is drawn with a solid line ▯ a relatively significant and stable distinction since the self derives their identities through these relationships ▯ MRI Study: Westerners showed different regions of brain activation ▯ they represent themselves and their mothers in distinct ways vs. Chinese showed activation patterns in the same brain regions when considering how well a number of trait adjectives characterized themselves or their mothers ▯ Self-concepts are shaped by cultural practices that direct what individuals attend to, value, believe, and are able to attain ▯ Individualism vs. Collectivism ▯ Most people participate in collectivistic cultures where interdependent selves are more common which encompasses more than 80% of the world’s population ▯ Everyone occasionally experiences the self as a separate self-contained unit or as an interconnected relational unit, and how people differ can be seen as the proportion of time they think of themselves in each of these ways or as their default way of viewing themselves ▯ All cultures are highly heterogeneous – when a culture is said to be individualistic, it means that on average people in that culture are exposed to more cultural messages encouraging them to think in independent ways but individuals will respond to these messages in a variety of different way but some will embrace them more than others ▯ Factors: collectivism, relatedness, agency, and assertiveness Women are more interdependent than men only with respect to their attention to others’ feelings and concerns (relatedness) ▯ Case Study: Sex Role Ideology scale to investigate people’s attitudes toward how men and women should act and how they perceive statements as either traditional or egalitarian Findings: There are striking differences in views toward gender equality around the world. Regardless of where the data was collected, within a culture, men and women tended to share fairly similar views about gender equality ▯ culture shapes our views Males had significantly more traditional gender views than females Religion, geographical location, urbanization, individualism score influence gender views ▯ Agriculture’s influence on gender roles : • Shifting Cultivation – women • Plough Cultivation – men • Areas that adopted the plow as a primary agricultural tool centuries earlier have less egalitarian gender norms and less female participation in labor force today ▯ Essentialization – an underlying unchangeable essence with the more powerful as the more essentialized i.e. its normal that females dress like men but not vice versa ▯ How do cultural differences in independent and interdependent self concepts lead to other differences in ways of thinking about the self • Self-Consistency – how one behaves in different situations (vs. peer consistency) Case Study: American rated themselves more positive than Japanese; American responses did not vary significantly across settings; Japanese responses varied significantly across settings – Japanese were less self-critical when by themselves Cognitive Dissonance & (post-decision) Dissonance Reduction (change attitudes or rationalization) Case Study: Japanese showed no tendency to rationalize their decisions (made for themselves); East Asians will rationalize decisions that were made for others, suggesting that they are motivated to have their behaviors be consistent with other’s expectations (opposite for European-Canadians); therefore, North Americans appear to aspire for consistency within themselves, whereas East Asians are concerned with being consistent with others Case Study: Americans feel good about themselves if they view themselves as consistent and other people view consistent individuals as socially skilled and likable This is in contrast to Koreans who are less consistent in different situations but although East Asians may feel differently about themselves across contexts, they do show much consistency across time within each of these relationships • Self-Awareness: Subjective Self-Awareness: our concerns are with the outside world and we are st largely unaware of ourselves (independent) (1 person) Objective Self-Awareness: our concerns are directed at ourselves and are conscious rd of how we are being seen and evaluated by others (interdependent) (3 person) (predictions are more accurate about their own behavior) Case Study: When Americans are considering themselves as the object, as when they are in front of a mirror, they appear to be thinking thoughts about themselves that are similar to those the Japanese are with or without mirror (self critical) ▯ Implicit theories ▯ self-concept ▯ our interpretation of what happens in the world ▯ Incremental Theory of Self: the belief that we can change and are expected to change; the belief that a person’s abilities and traits are malleable and can be improved (collectivistic) ▯ Entity Theory of Self: the belief that a person’s abilities and traits are largely fixed, innate features of the self and resistant to change (individualistic) ▯ Five Factor Model of Personality = The Big Five (cross-culturally robust but does not appear to provide an exhaustive list of personality traits in other cultures) • Factor Analysis is a technique that can identify groups of things that are alike or different • Openness to Experience – reflects a person’s intelligence and curiosity about world • Conscientiousness – indicates how responsible and dependable he is • Extraversion – indicates how much an individual is active or dominant • Agreeableness – the extent to which a person tends to be warm and pleasant • Neuroticism – the degree to which a person can be seen as emotionally unstable Chapter 7: Motivation ▯ Self-Enhancement: the motivation to view oneself positively (related to independence) ▯ Self-Serving Biases: the tendencies for people to exaggerate how good they think they are ▯ Strategies to Maintain a Positive Self-View but may lead to high self-esteem and unrealistically positive views of one self • Downward Social Comparison: comparing your performance with someone else who has done worse than you • Upward Social Comparison: comparing your performance with someone else who has done better than you • Compensatory Self Enhancement: you acknowledge the poor grade you received but you instead start to think about your excellent clarinet playing skills • Discounting: reducing the perceived importance of the domain in which you performed poorly • External Attribution: attribute the cause of our actions to something outside ourselves • Internal Attribution: attribute the cause of our actions to something within ourselves • Bask in the Reflected Glory: - of a successful group to which you belong to ▯ Endowment Effect: the tendency for people to value objects more once they own them and have endowed them with their own positive qualities; the effect is significantly stronger in Western samples than in Eastern samples and in some situations Eastern samples show reverse effect ▯ Predestination: the belief that our destiny (heaven or hell) was decided before we were born – the origin of high self-esteem and self enhancement ▯ Individualistic – I’m all I’ve got or I can only rely on myself ▯ must view oneself in a positive light to achieve things ▯ self enhancement is born ▯ Face: the amount of social value others give you if you live up to the standards associated with your position; the amount of face available is determined by your social position • Prevention Orientation (avoid bad) vs. Promotion Orientation (secure good) ▯ Self-Improvement Motivation: the desire to seek out potential weaknesses and work on correcting them is a strong motivation in East Asian context ▯ Max Weber maintained that a particular set of cultural meanings associated with the Protestant Reformation allows for the birth of Capitalism • Emphasized literacy, changed people’s attitude towards work as spiritual calling, and the accumulation of material success and goods was a sign of being in the elect group (predestination) • Modern Capitalism: concerned with the accumulation of wealth for its won sake and not for the sake of material pleasures it brought • The six most individualistic countries in the world are largely Protestant, whereas the least individualistic Western societies are largely Catholic • Protestant anxiety about salvation was the driving force behind their work ethic, and that this was coupled with a Protestant worldview that maintained that people were inherently evil. Any encounters with thought that one was behaving less than holy should thus motivate Protestants work even harder at their calling in an effort to convince themselves that they are still among the elect, despite their occasional failings. Judaism and Catholicism are less likely to see humans as fundamental bad, and they have emphasized the emotion of guilt which should be dwelled upon and suffered as a motivator for people to strive to become better • Protestant drive to be creative and productive may be based on an effort to ride themselves of any thought that might not be spiritually pure ▯ Entity Theory of the World – the world is fixed and beyond our control to change ▯ Incremental Theory of the World – the world is flexible and responsive to our efforts to change it ▯ Primary Control: a method used to gain control of our lives by striving to shape existing realities to fit our perceptions, goals, or wishes (a.k.a. internal locus of control, influence, and agency) i.e. it’s the kind of control you perceive when you decide you want a hamburger and you go down to a burger joint to get yourself one therefore, you have the efficacy to influence your social environment to get what you want • Western Cultures stress the malleability of the world relative to the individual and that the individual has potential control of shaping the world to fit his desires and the independent self is a relatively immutable and consistent entity working within the context of a mutable world sustains primary control ▯ Secondary Control: a method used to gain control of our lives by attempting to align ourselves with existing realities, leaving the realities unchanged but exerting control over their psychological impact and accepting one’s circumstances (a.k.a. adjustment and external locus of control) i.e. when you are with a group going for lunch and the group decides to get pizza, and you come to feel that pizza is what you’d like for lunch therefore, your desires and goals adjust themselves to what your environment is most likely to provide • Power and agency tend to be concentrated in groups or in leaders; therefore, there are many domains in which the East Asian individual is unable to exert much influence (hierarchical collectivistic cultures); since East Asians are more likely to have an incremental view of themselves, the individuals are seen as more changeable than the social world, therefore, they are expected to be more willing to adjust themselves to fit in better with the demands of the social worlds ▯ Japanese are more likely to see events in the world as occurring due to behaviors and decisions of groups, whereas Americans tend to understand events in terms of the individuals involved ▯ More choices are available to individuals acting alone than to those who are part of an interdependent network; however, when individuals share the same goals as their group, the limits on their choices are likely not experienced as aversive ▯ Case Study: 3 Conditions: Personal Choice, Out-group Choice, and In-group Choice Findings: European students attempted the most games when they got to choose their own rd th spaceships but played significantly fewer games when either the 3 or 5 graders made their choices for them – European students reacted negatively to the idea that others were making choices for them th Findings: Asian students attempted the most games when 5 graders (their classmates) chose their spaceships for them and was also relatively motivated when they made their own rd choices but were not motivated to play when an undesirable other (3 graders) made their choices for them Conclusion: Asians viewed the situation of their in-groups making choices for them as opportunities to promote harmony and a sense of belongingness with their group members but Europeans viewed the same situation as something that stripped them of their freedom to choose ▯ Learned Helplessness: an individuals feels that he or she is unable to control or avoid unpleasant events and the person will suffer from stress and potentially depression • East Germans felt greater learned helplessness because they had less direct control over the outcomes of their lives Chapter 8: Cognition and Perception ▯ East Asian art looks different from Western art because people from these cultures are literally seeing the same world differently – differences in cognitive and perceptual processes • The horizons were painted considerably higher in East Asian pictures – a higher horizon calls attention to the depth of the setting and allows for all different object within a scene to be seen in relation to each other • Figures / faces in portraits were much larger in Western pictures – direct attention to a particular focal object ▯ Taxonomic Categorization: the stimuli are grouped according to the perceived similarity of their attributes (Westerners) ▯ Thematic Categorization: the stimuli are grouped together on the basis of causal, temporal, or spatial relationships among them (East Asians) ▯ Analytic Thinking: a focus on objects and their attributes; objects are perceived as existing independently form their contexts and they are understood in terms of their component parts; the attributes that make up objects are used as a basis for categorization and a set of fixed abstract rules are used to predict and explain the behavior of these objects (Western) • To understand someone’s behavior based on their inner characteristics/dispositions • Make Dispositional Attributions to explain behaviors • Perform Formal Logical Reasoning employing abstract rules • Only view direct relations between objects or events as important • Change occurs in a linear fashion and is predictable ▯ Holistic Thinking: an orientation to the context as a whole; represents an associative way of thinking which gives attention to the relations among object and among the objects and the surrounding context; objects are understood in terms of how they relate to the rest of the context and their behavior is predicted and explained on the basis of those relationships; emphasizes knowledge gained through experience (Eastern) • To understand someone’s behavior based on how the situation is influencing them • Make Situational Attributions to explain behaviors • Perform Family Resemblance Judgments for reasoning • The world consists of many overlapping and related events such that trivial events could prove to be relevant later on despite the lack of direct relation now • Change occurs in a fluid and unpredictable way • Fundamental Attribution Error: the tendency to ignore situational information while focusing on dispositional information; “fundamental” because it is deeply ingrained in us • Reverse Fundamental Attribution Error: East Asians who focuses more on the situation ▯ Attention: the focus of our cognitive activity at a given time – analytic thinkers focus their attention on separate parts of a scene that represent discrete objects of interest – holistic thinkers direct their attention to more broadly and across an entire scene ▯ Field Independence: analytic thinkers can separate object from their background fields ▯ Field Dependence: holistic thinkers tend to view objects as bound to their background fields ▯ Saccades: extremely quick eye movements that shift people’s gaze from one fixation point to another – the East Asians were more systematically scanning the entire scene therefore made more saccades than did the Americans ▯ Change Blindness: the inability to detect changes unless they are directly attending to the location of change ▯ Naïve Dialecticism: acceptance of contradiction in Eastern logical reasoning ▯ Creativity: the generation of ideas that are both novel and useful and appropriate • Novelty is facilitated by Western cultural experiences of individualism ▯ mentally ill ▯ breakthrough innovation • Usefulness is facilitated by Eastern culture of collectivism ▯ consider others’ needs ▯ incremental innovation ▯ Westerns view speaking as an act of self-expression and bound to thought because they focus on separate objects and therefore can describe them separately and sequentially ▯ East Asians view thought and speech as unrelated because they attend to the whole and the relationships between various objects and background and therefore cannot easily describe multiple relations at once ▯ Case Study: Participants were better able to recognize the faces they had previously seen if they had not tried to describe them before because their verbal descriptions interfered with their ability to process the face as a whole ▯ poorer recall ▯ Case Study: Asians should be free to think about the items in the test in the way that was most natural to them and they could then engage in the separate task of reciting the alphabet and because these two tasks are largely different from one another, it should cause very little interference with each other and performance should be largely unaffected ---------------------- Since talking and thinking are connected for Europeans, then being asked to recite the alphabet while thinking about the test should be challenging as they have to engage in two verbal tasks: verbal thoughts about how to solve the test and the verbal thoughts of reciting the alphabet ▯ High Context Culture: people are deeply involved with each other and this involvement leads them to have much shared information that guides behavior; there are clear and appropriate ways of behaving in each situation, and this information is widely shared and understood so it does not need to be explicitly communicated (East Asians) ▯ Low Context Culture: there is relatively less involvement amongst individuals and there is less shared information to guide behavior; it is necessary for people to communicate in more explicit detail (Westerners) ▯ Whorfian Hypothesis: building on the question of how much does the language we speak affect how we think – language determines how we think has been rejected because of infants who show complex thinking prior to learning a language – language we speak affects how we think is still controversial and debatable today ▯ Language obliges people to think about certain ideas ▯ English speakers often identify locations based on their position relative to the speaker, whereas non-English speakers refer to locations as absolute (i.e. compass) ▯ spatial and time perception are grounded in the linguistic markers available in one’s language ▯ language influences thought ▯ In the absence of linguistic terms for specific numbers, people from some cultural groups do not seem to be able to understand the associated numerical concepts (evidence for strong Whorfian Hypothesis) ▯ Humans’ default understanding of numbers is in a logarithmic fashion and that we only come to have a linear understanding of numbers by training and exposure to linear numeric terms ▯ Anthropocentric: young children project qualities of humans onto animals due to lack of exposure to animals and due to exposure to animals portrayed inaccurately Chapter 13: Morality, Religion, and Justice ▯ Secularization Theory: holds that religion is on the decline and that people around the world are discovering new secular and rational ways to make sense of their lives ▯ Universalism: the perspective that sees people from different cultures as largely the same and that any observed cultural variability exits only at a superficial level ▯ Relativism: the perspective maintains that cultural diversity in ways of thinking is not superficial but reflects genuinely different psychological processes; various cultural practices and experiences ▯ various ways of thinking ▯ Evolutionism: the perspective maintains that cultural variability reflects genuine differences in psychological processes and that there is only one way that the mind has evolved to think; interprets cultural differences in ways of thinking as reflecting increasing stages of development; maintains that some ways of thinking are more mature and people of different cultures would all think in the same ways once they reached the same point of development – using a developmental standard and evaluate other cultures by how closely they match ▯ Ethnocentrism: leads people to assume that their own culture’s way of life is in some ways better or more natural than that of others ▯ Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development – Evolutionist Perspective – moral reasoning implicated cognitive abilities and that these abilities would progress as individuals developed • Level 1: The Pre-conventional Level Individuals understand the cultural rules and labels of what is good and bad but interpret these labels in terms of either the physical or hedonistic consequences of their actions – people interpret morality based on a calculation of how much better or worse off they would be for acting in a certain way – morality is about trying to behave in a way that provides the best overall return • Level 2: The Conventional Level Individuals are able to identify themselves with a particular group and social order and they show loyalty toward this group and puts efforts to live up to this group’s standards – viewing actions as moral to the extent that they help maintain and facilitate the social order of this group – actions are seen as morally wrong if they involve violating any rules that the social order has maintained – morality is about following the rules and individuals should not question where these rules come from • Level 3: The Post-conventional Level Moral values and principles are seen to exist separately from the authority of the social groups that hold them – moral reasoning is based on the consideration of abstract ethical principles of what is right and wrong and moral decisions are reached based on the logical extensions of those principles – whether others agree with you or whether there are rule that contradict you are independent of whether the action is viewed to be moral – good behavior is seen as that which is consistent with a set of universal ethical principles that emphasize justice and individual rights ▯ Ethic of Autonomy: i.e. Kohlberg’s model – views morality in terms of individual freedom and rights violations and an emphasis on personal choice – an act is immoral under the ethic of autonomy when it directly hurts another person or infringes on another’s rights and freedoms as an individual ▯ Ethic of Community: Individuals have duties that conform with their roles in a community or social hierarchy; there is an ethical principle to uphold one’s interpersonal duties and obligations toward other and actions are seen as wrong when individuals fail to perform their duties of their roles • Moral Obligations: objective obligations – people believe that they have an obligation to act in a certain way even if there is no official rule, legitimately regulated – people should be prevented from engaging in a moral violation or they should be punished if they act in such a way ▯ i.e. When interpersonal and justice obligations conflict, Indians tend to prefer protecting interpersonal obligations, whereas Americans tend to prefer protecting justice obligations ▯ Ethic of Divinity: Concerned with sanctity and the perceived “natural order” of things; one is obligated to preserve the standards mandated by a transcendent authority; actions are immoral if they cause impurity or degradation to oneself or other creations or if one shows disrespect for God; everyone’s obligations is to respect and preserve the sanctity of this world ▯ Gemeinschaft Community: The 1 way that individuals can relate to each other in a group - Smaller folk organizations and within these groups, interpersonal relationships play an important role. Gemeinschaft relationships bind people together with the social glue of concord – relationships are viewed as real, organic, and ends in themselves. People feel connected to others because they feel a unity of spirit and these relationships tend not to be thought of in instrumental terms nor are they evaluated. The relationships are central to an individual’s identity and they reflect an understanding of the self that is consistent with an interdependent self. Obligations associated with one’s relationships would take on the weight of full moral obligations. I.e. nuclear family nd ▯ Gesellschaft Association or Society: The 2 way that individuals can relate to each other in a group – modern Western societies that treat relationships as imaginary, instrumental, and a means to an end. Focused on autonomous individuals who are bound to one another through social conventions. Groups come up with their own set of rules by which individuals need to behave and these rules arise out of public consensus. Relationships are impersonal and somewhat contractual ▯ the necessity of justice obligations to govern disputes. Individuals cannot be expected to always behave in prosocial ways toward others
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