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University of Toronto Scarborough

The Goals of Psychology cultural psychology psychology has 2 main goals: build a body of knowledge about people understand behaviour, why & predict applying the knowledge to intervene in people's lives Cultural Psychology and Cross-cultural Research in the past, many research experiments were done on American university students (WEIRDOS) it is therefore argued that research is biased CCP (cross-cultural psychology) tests if certain characteristics are applicable to all people by testing it on people from different cultural background cross-cultural research comparing psychological processes between two or more cultures CCP tests to see if principals are: universal true for people of all cultures culture-specific true for some people of some cultures differs from mainstream psychology because it is not interested in one particular phenomenon, but interest in understanding cultural influences on all behaviour The Contribution of the Study of Culture on Psychological Truths ccp affects psychology on a whole because it makes people and scientists question whether findings are able to be universally applicable or not there is an evolution in psychology right now b/c more researcher's are realizing the importance of accounting for cultural factors in their work What is culture? culture, race, nationality and ethnicity are NOT interchangeable, not the same term can refer to activities, behaviours, traditions of a group etc. can be general characteristics as well e.g. food, clothing, housing, technology we use culture to explain a broad range of activities and structures of life the word culture may have a different meaning for different cultures e.g. paris: culture means art, museums etc, while for an American, the same word may mean something else Where Does Culture Come From? 3 main origins Ecology Climate produce different ways of living which results in different cultures what affects culture is not absolute temperature but deviation from temperate climate degree in which average temp. differs from 22 degrees C 22 degrees C is the easiest place to live in because our body is best able to regulate temperate in that environment harsher climates=greater risks of food shortage, spoiling etc. more infections and diseases in hotter climates Population density ratio of # of ppl that live in an area to size of the area that can grow food and sustain population e.g. large population density=New York, Tokyo low population density=Alaska Arable land amount of land on which food can grow to sustain people in that area Resources food, water, money can be natural e.g. land or water land with little natural resources may foster teamwork and community spirit to come together and share resources money majorly affects culture (money is also a human cultural creation) abundant money -people may be less in sync with others People group living humans tend to live in groups, it makes it much easier to survive advantage: divide up tasks and make life easier disadvantage chaos and conflict can arise needs and motives we have universal needs that need to be filled e.g. eating, drinking, sleeping etc. key motive has been to adapt to environments especially socially (affiliate with others) in order to achieve reproductive success can also be termed "universal problems" universal psychological toolkits include language, aptitudes and cognitive abilities allows humans to adapt to their environment (this is why anyone born in the world could be taken at birth and raised in a different culture and that culture would seem perfectly normal to them) one of the most important thinking abilities that humans have is the ability to believe that other people are intentional agents (have wishes, desires and intentions to act and behave) animals can think of themselves as intentional agents, but can't think the same about other animals morality rooted in unique human cognitive ability shared intentionality knowledge about motivations concerning behaviours that are common among people in a group ratchet effect improvement does not go backwards, and continues to improve does not occur in other animals memory because we have memories, we are able to create histories, traditions, customs, heritage also able to plan things emotions rapid info processing systems that helped humans to react to events that require immediate action personality traits A Definition of Culture The Function of Culture we need to live in harmony and efficiently together, to achieve that, we need to rules, systems of living or ways of being...that's culture! provides guidelines or roadmaps on what do, how to think and what to feel guidelines are passed along from oe generation to the next A Definition Tylor defined culture as all capabilities and habits learned as members of a society Linton defined culture as a social heredity Kroeber defined culture as patterns of and for behaviour acquired
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