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Chapter 3

Chapter3 Textbook notes

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Sisi Tran

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Chapter 3: Methods for Studying Culture and Psychology Considerations for Conducting Research across Cultures What Cultures should we Study? One common approach for selecting cultures is to choose samples based on a theoretical variable that you are investigating o For ex. If you are interested in exploring how collectivism shapes the ways people view their relationships, then your research would fare well by selecting cultures that clearly differ in terms of their collectivisms If you contrast how people view their relationships bw two cultures that vary in their degree of collectivism, and you find a significant cultural difference, then you would have some preliminary evidence to suggest that collectivism shapes how people view their relationships o Usually smart to choose two cultures that are distinct in terms of language, geography, level of education and social practice- and based on similarity or difference a relationship can be determined Making meaningful comparisons across Cultures Select a culture to study-> design a study-> results interpreted Develop some knowledge about the cultures under study Some people can learn about different cultures by reading texts and ethnographies, which consist of description of the different cultures Researchers should collaborate across cultures to get the most accurate information Another effective strategy is to immerse yourself in another culture to learn it first hand o Can be time consuming and costly Contrasting Highly Different Cultures vs. Similar Cultures Although the standard survey methodologies are useful for conducting cross-cultural research among people of industrialized societies who have comparable experiences, they are not of much use when exploring subsistence societies that dont share these kinds of research experiences Having ones method perceived in identical ways across different cultures is termed methodological equivalence www.notesolution.com Majority of cross cultural research has been conducted between industrialized societies: the most common comparisons are between North Americans and East Asians Problems which results if psychologists overemphasize a particular sample: o Generalizability- do the finding generalize to populations other than the samples that were studied? We are less able to confidently generalize our results if we do not have much evidence from a diverse range of samples o Power refers to the capability of your study to detect an effect (which is usually a cross-cultural difference in studies of culture) to the extent that such an affect really exists o Culture is an independent variable(the variable that is varied or manipulated), and if researchers contrast two similar cultures, they would not have as much variance in their independent variable than if they had compared two very dissimilar cultures. The more variance there is in the independent variable, the more likely one should be to detect an effect in the dependent variable (the variable that you measure) Conducting Cross-cultural Research with Surveys -> Challenges to conducting survey research across cultures Translation of Questionnaire Items Most favoured approach is to sure that at least one of the primary investigators on a project is fully bilingual in the languages that are being compared. This person is then in a very good position to assess whether the materials are capturing the subtle nuances of the intentions of the research questions. Psychological meanings are complex and many of the nuances can easily be lost in translation unless a translator has a rick understanding of what the questions are asking. A bilingual investigator will be able to compare the translated materials with the originals and will be in a good position to assess whether the translations are accurate o There will always be a # of problematic phrases or words that require discussion between the translators and the investigators to ensure that the literal meaning is captured and that the translations do not sound awkward or unnatural Back translation A method used to compare ex. English to Tamil- all the phrases are developed in English and then it is translated into Tamil. Hire one translator to translate into Tamil, and another translator to go back from Tamil to English. You would have two different translation of the English phrases they would discuss the difference and then reach a consensus and this will go back and forth until it matches up o One weakness with this method is that it might result in a very unnatural or hard to understand translation, even though the literal meaning is preserved Response Bias Interpreting and comparing survey response from people of different cultures is far more challenging than www.notesolution.com
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