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Chapter 2

psyc14-cross cultural psychology chapter 2

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Michelle Hilscher

PSYC14-Cross Cultural Psychology Chapter 2:Cross Cultural Research Methods Types of Cross Cultural Research Method Validation studies Any type of research has a concern with the Reliability and Validity of measurement Validity: whether or not a scale, test or measure accurately measures what it is supposed to measure Reliability: whether or not a scale, test, or measure consistently measures what it is supposed to measure These two concerns are not just unique to cultural research, they are important in any kind of research Indigenous Cultural Studies Indigenous cultural studies: studies that are characterized by rich cultural descriptions of complex theoretical models of culture that predict and explain cultural differences Cross Cultural Comparisons Cross cultural comparisons: studies that compare cultures on some psychological variable of interest. These studies serve are:  the backbone for cross cultural research  the most prevalent type of cross cultural study Types of Cross-Cultural Comparisons: there are 4 dimensions of cross cultural comparisions 1. Exploratory vs. Hypothesis Testing Exploratory Studies: designed to examine the existence of cross cultural similarities or differences. They are generally simple, quasi-experimental designs comparing two or more cultures on a psychological variable. (tend to stay close to the data) Strengths: broad scope for identifying cross cultural similarities and differences, good for under researched domains of cross culture Weaknesses: cannot tell you the cause of the observed differences in culture Hypothesis-Testing Studies: designed to test why cultural differences exist. They go beyond simple quasi experimental design by either including context variables of using experiments (make large inferential jumps, but the validity of these jumps is affected by biases and inquivalence) Strengths: very focused search of similarities and differences, leading to more substantial contribution to theories Weaknesses: less likely to discover interesting differences outside of the tested theory 2. Presence of Absence of Contextual Factors Contextual Factors: any variable that can explain, partly or fully, observed cross cultural differences. These can be characteristics of the participants ie socioeconomic status, education , age or their cultures such as economic development and religious institutions Including contextual variables will help enhance the validity of the study and rule of influence from biases and inequivalence Hypothesis testing studies always need contextual variables 3. Structure vs. Level Oriented Structure oriented studies: studies that examine whether contructs are conceptualized the same way across all cultures( is depression conceptualized the same way across all cultures?), the relationship of a contruct( do depression and anxiety have the same relationship in all cultures?) to other constructs or the measurement of a construct. Level oriented studies: studies that involve the comparision of scores, they examine cultural differences in mean levels of variables 4. Individual vs. Ecological (cultural) Level Individual-level: individual participants provide the data and are the units of analysis. They are often used as context variables. Ecological ( cultural) studies: use countries or cultures, not individuals as the unit of analysis The typical or most used type of study in psychology is an individual level study Ecological level studies are an important part of cross cultural research, because just showing a difference between 2 cultural groups doesn’t demonstrate that the difference between them is due to a cultural difference. The difference could be due to many different factors. So now we look at underlying factors to look at the differences subjectively rather than objectively. Most well known ecological level study is Hofstede’s work, from these studies he wa
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