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Chapter 5

Chapter Five cross cult

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PSYC 3350
Saba Safdar

Chapter Five: Culture and Cognition Cognition – all mental processes we use to transform sensory input into knowledge First cognitive processes: attention, sensation, perception High-order mental processes: thinking, reasoning, language, memory, problem solving Culture as Cognition In psychology culture is viewed as a set of mental representations of the world - Hofstede (1980) called culture ‘mental programming’ – like computer software, different cultural ‘programs’ exist that enable individuals to engage in different behaviours given same hardware - Culture is a knowledge system that enables groups to solve complex problems of living and social life, enabling them to survive more functionally and effectively. - Priming – research technique that looks at how one stimulus affects another Perception and Physical Reality - Our perceptions don’t necessarily match the realities of the world EX- the eye has a blind spot but due to micro saccades (micro eye movements) the brain fills in what is being missed Cultural Influences of Visual Perception - Segal, Campbell, Herskovits (1963, 1966) studied optical illusions which is what much of what we know about cultural influences on perception come from - Optical illusions are perceptions that involve an apparent discrepancy between how an object looks and what it really is Theories of why optical illusions work: o Carpentered world theory – expect everything to be rectangular in shape with squared corners o Front-horizontal foreshortening theory – we assume vertical lines are horizontal lines extending away from us and therefore must be longer - Both theories show that our experience affects our learning - Found that different cultures had different views on the illusions - Third theory was created: Symbolizing Three Dimensions in Two: suggests people in Western cultures focus more on representations on paper than do people in other cultures - Effects of illusion were more prevalent with younger people - Cultural effects played role in view of illusions as well as age and learning - Hudson (1960) used size are perception with Bantu tribe – showed that those educated in European culture perceived differently than those note Attention - Research comes from Masuda and colleagues - Masuda and Nisbett (2001) –Japanese able to recall background objects better than American university students and influenced by background where Americans where not - Masuda (2008) – recognition of emotion of focal compared to background – Japanese applied background emotion to focal and American applied focal emotion to background Culture and Memory - Cultural differences when it comes to memory (compared to writing it down) is limited to meaningful information, contrary to (Bartlett 1932) who said that non-literate societies develop better memory skills because they can’t write it down - Aspects of memory – Serial Position Effect: suggests that we remember things better if they are either the first or last item in a list of things to remember - Hindsight bias has been found to be universal – the process in which individuals adjust their memory for something after they find out the true outcome - Number of studies have proven hindsight bias as universal - Wang in recent study shows cultural differences in self-relevant memory – episodic memory Western culture exhibit greater episodic memory than Asian culture Culture and Math Abilities - Math is a universal human psychological process - According to International Association for the evaluation of educational Achievement: o Asian countries have highest percentage of students to reach benchmark o By fourth grade half of the countries had both boys and girls with no difference, other half of countries girls out performed o Mainly Asian countries had highest levels in math and science - Clear differences exist in countries but not clear reason as to why - Likely do to everyday life in a culture and the use of the numbers and thoughts - Gender Stratification Hypothesis – roles of women in parliament and research jobs was biggest predictor of cross-nation
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