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Chapter 4

PSYC 335 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: David Satcher, Craniometry, Cultural Relativism


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 335
Professor
Dean A Tripp
Chapter
4

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CH 4: Culture
Sunday, October 22, 2017
11:05 AM
Culture and Psychology
David Satcher - surgeon general
o "mental health: culture, race, ethnicity" report
o Two take home messages:
1. "culture counts" in etiology (cause of something), effects, and treatment of
educational and psyc problems
2. Psycs need to incorporate cultural issues into their conceptualizations of psyc probs
and treatments
Cultural influences are also important in positive psyc.
"Culture" includes race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion,
disability, and nation of origin
Psychology as a whole has only focused on weakness, and this has pathologized those who don't
adhere to western norms via deficit models: people of colour, women, sexual minorities, and
other minorities have been subjected to a "double jeopardy" -> they are branded as pathological
in comparison to the majority group, and within a system that only focuses on weakness
Culture is important because it shows what all people bring to the clinical setting
o Can account for variations in how patients communicate their symptoms and which ones
they report
Aspects of culture may also underlie culture-bound syndromes: sets of symptoms more common
in some cultures than others
Culture accounts for whether people even seek help, what type they seek, what coping styles and
social supports they have, and how much stigma is attached
All cultures also feature different strengths which may buffer some ppl from developing certain
disorders
Western medicine focuses on the important of disease, getting knowledge through science and
empirical methods
o Uses objective methods to uncover causes, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases
Physicians may come from different cultures, but they all share this western worldview of
medicine
When a clients and physicians views are dissimilar, this can create barriers to effective care
History of cultural perspective
In late 1800s, research paradigms were consistent with the belief that the dominant race (European)
was superior
These approaches have been referred to as the genetically deficient perspective: said that
biological differences explained perceived gaps in intellectual capabilities between racial groups;
"inferior intelligence" could not benefit from growth opportunities and did not contribute to society
o Craniometry was the study of the relationship between skull characteristics and intelligence -
> was used in the genetically deficient perspective
o These notions of genetic inferiority were prominent in eugenics (study of methods of
reducing "genetic inferiority" by selective breeding)
o Henry Goddard established screening procedures using intelligence tests to increase
deportation rates of "feebleminded" - these were usually in a language that was not their
native tongue
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
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