PSY100H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: American Chinese Cuisine, Extraversion And Introversion, Test Of English As A Foreign Language
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Chapter 10 - Living in Multicultural Worlds
-cultures are not homogenous entities
-today there are no large societies that include people of only one cultural background
-currently 130 million people live in countries they were not born in (same population as Japan)
-in US 10% of population has moved there from another country
-Immigrant groups in US: 59% of Latino American children and 90% of Asian-American children were
either born outside of the US or are second-generation residents.
Difficulties in Studying Acculturation
-acculturation: process by which people migrate to and learn a culture that is different from their
original (or heritage) culture.
-topic of acculturation is not empirically grounded or coherent, and often contradictory & diverse
-consistent conclusions are difficult because acculturating individuals have varying experiences
-people move to a new country for many different reasons, eg. to be close to family, to seek fame and
fortune, refugees with no choice, etc.
-acculturating individuals move to dramatically different kinds of environments eg. ghettos,
homogenous neighbourhoods where they appear different expatriate environments, or discriminating
-some move from rural —> urban
-others move to areas with language, religion, and cultural practices similar to their heritage culture,
others move to areas with complete differences.
-different individuals have different personalities, goals, expectations, etc. that affect their acculturation
What Happens When People Move to a New Culture?
-moving to a new culture involves psychological adjustment
-this adjustment occurs over a variety of domains — acquiring new language, learning new
interpersonal and social behaviours, becoming accustomed to new values, becoming member of a
minority group, adjusting one’s self-concept.
Changes in Attitudes Toward the Host Culture
-migrant: those who move from a heritage culture (original culture) to a host culture (their new culture)
and include those who intend to stay only temporarily (sojourners) and those who intend to move
-Adjustment experiences study of Norwegian Fulbright scholars in the US. An adjustment pattern was
shared by many of the grantees.
-in first few months of experience, migrants had especially positive time in their visit. They enjoyed
new experiences, meeting new people, trying new foods, communicating, feeling excitement of
novel and exotic environment. This was the “honeymoon stage” and this stage keeps tourism in
-following honeymoon stage, most visitors turn a corner and begin to have negative views about their
host culture. 6-18 months — most negative feelings of their sojourn in a stage labelled “crisis” or
“culture shock” stage. Earlier thrill wears off and experiences become tiring and difficult. Recent
migrants realize their language skills are not good enough for them to fully function in the
environment. They do not have a rich enough understanding of how the system works. They met
people who were interested in them because they were exotic and are no longer interested in those
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-culture shock - feeling of being anxious, helpless, irritable, and homesick that one experiences on
moving to a new culture.
-after wallowing for several months in the crisis stage, most of sojourners starred to adjust and begin
to enjoy their experiences more. Their language improved, they functioned better. They started to
think and act like the locals around them, this is the “adjustment” phase. Tends to extend over a
number of years.
-U Shaped adjustment curve
-upper U = honeymoon, low loop = culture shock, and back up = adjustment
-U-shaped adjustment curve is not limited to being in a foreign country. Sojourners can go through the
same adjustment stages after they return to their home country.
-first they can be elated to see families again and eat favourite food.
-they can then seem to experience “reverse culture shock” and find themselves not quite at home
anymore, alienated from those around them. Home culture doesn't seem the same as they remember it,
and they are no longer an especially good fit. Eventually they undergo adjustment period and acclimate
to the familiar life they once knew.
-U shaped adjustment doesn't characterize everyone’s experience of adjustment
-initial honeymoon stage is not evident for many sojourners
-for many people the beginning of extended stay are characterized by a lot f anxiety that prevents them
from feeling excitement about their new experience
-societal feature of a host culture that seems to influence the acculturating individuals’ adjustment is the
ease in which the migrants can be accommodated by the host culture
-US is a diverse nation, many people from different backgrounds view the US as home and adjusted
-in contrast, Japan is ethnically homogenous (98% Japanese). More difficult to acculturate there, with a
pessimistic L-shaped curve. There is a honeymoon and crisis stage but there is no evidence of an
adjustment stage. Those who lived there for more than 5 years were just as negative to Japan as those
who had been there for just over 1 year and who were in the crisis stage
Who Adjusts Better?
-people tend to respond differently to acculturation depending both on situation and their temperament
-people have to learn the lifestyles of a new culture in acculturation
-success depends on how much learning you need to do to gain info to thrive in the new culture; eg. if
you move to a place with a culture similar to yours you have less to learn
-cultural distance - difference between two cultures in their overall ways of life
-hypothesis: the more cultural distance you need to travel, the more difficulty you will have
-indirect measure of acculturation = language
-best predictors of acculturative success is language ability and people’s confidence in their mastery
over the host culture’s language greatly affects how they identify with that culture
-the easier it is for migrants to learn the language of host culture, the better they should fare in
-To test this - TOEFL test (international students take this if they want to study at English speaking
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-scores vary based on participants’ own mother language. those who grew up speaking languages
similar to English (eg. Dutch, german) perform better than those who speak other European languages
that are more distant (eg. French, Spanish)
-Speakers of Indo-European languages tend to perform better on TOEFL than those who grew up
speaking languages from highly distinct groups such as Swahili or Japanese
-other skills need to be mastered — eg. people need to learn how to accomplish everyday tasks
-Ward and Kennedy compared the adjustment of Malaysian university students in NZ (very different
culture) and Malaysian students in Singapore (similar culture). After ~3 years there, Malaysian
students who were studying in Singapore reported having fewer difficulties than those in New Zealand
(which is more culturally distant)
-cultural distance seems to make it difficult to establish and maintain interpersonal relationships with
members of the host culture
-people do not have to leave their country to feel that they need to acculturate to a new set of values
-indigenous groups have found themselves forced to adjust to a culture imposed on them by colonial foe
-eg. onslaught of cultural traditions of Natives in Canada by the European settlers
-Eastern Cree had most distress acculturating
-cultural fit - degree to which an individual’s personality is more similar to the dominant cultural
values in there host culture
-greater cultural fit the more easily one can acculturate (hypothesis)
-extraversion personality trait - seek active stimulation from the environment. people who score high on
this are more likely to move to other countries, particularly to urban ones compared with those who are
-Countries or regions that were largely populated by immigrants should be expected to have
disproportionate numbers of people with temperaments, such as extraversion, that motivated them to
immigrate in the first place
-relationship between extraversion and acculturative success is complicated. Eg. study found that
Malaysians and Singaporeans who scored higher on extraversion demonstrated more signs of well
being while living in New Zealand than those who scored low. In contrast another study found that
English speaking expatriates living in Singapore who scored high on extraversion reported feeling
boredom, frustration, depression, and health problems than those who scored low.
-extraversion does NOT always facilitate acculturation
-more generally: more extraverted immigrants fare better in terms of their well being when they
immigrate to countries with higher levels of extraversion
-people with independent self concepts found to suffer less in US when acculturating
-acculturation is more straightforward if one’s personality fits well with one’s host cultural environment
-J. Berry and colleagues - proposed 2 uses critical to the outcome of one’s acculturation. 1) Whether
people attempt to participate in the larger society of their host culture. 2) Whether people are striving to
maintain their own heritage culture and identity as members of that culture.
-these two issues are proposed to be independent
-Types of strategies
-integration strategy - involves attempts to fit in and fully participate in the host culture while at the
same time striving to maintain the traditions of one’s heritage. People using this strategy have
positive views toward both their heritage and their host culture (best of both worlds)
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