For unlimited access to Textbook Notes, a Class+ subscription is required.
Chapter 16: cultural psychology
DEF #1 beleifs, values, rules, customs passed on from one gen to next gen, and these
things are held by a group of people who share a common language or
DEF #2: any kind of information acquired by individual through imitative and social
Culture and species
Non primate species have shown cultural elarning
Humans: not unique for learning cultural information but we are special in
how much cultural learning we do. Very extensive. One true cultural species
Humans evolution to accumulate cultural information
Culture for ancestors had reproductive and survival value
Culture made our brain what it is. The larger the group size , larger the brain
is. We lived in large groups, but large groups need strong social ability
Group living allows for social learning.
Human brain cognitively same level, but our ability to learn from others is
Language was adaptation for cultural learning. Language helps us
communicate needs,threats, opportunities and alos to describe cultural ideas
Theory of mind refers to the ability to identify the intentions of antoher
person. Developed early in life. This helps cultural learning.
Accumulation of cultural information is also unique . accumulation allows us
as to evolve and reenact the behaviors.
Everything around is is evolving to get better or faster by standing on the
shoulders of giants. That being said chimps have used same stick for all this
time and will continue on doing so because they don’t accumulate and have a
theory of mind. Each gen starts at square one.
Def: how culture chapes psychological processes.
Wilhelm Wundt; elements of folk psychology, higher order psychological
processes needed to be studied considering the cultural environments in
which they occur
Cultural environments are social environments on a larger scale dealing with
all aspects of lie. More inclusive than social environments (referring to social
Our single encompassing set of laws are unnoticed by people. We think that’s
the way life just is.
2 themes in cultural psychology: 1. How people are related; need to belong
2.universal and culturally specific psychologies exist; same biology used to
see world, taste of a pepper is same. That being said different cultures eat
peppers to different extents building an immunity
limitation is we don’t know how conclusions generalize across
different cultures. Most finding done are on university students in
northamerica, so do these results generalize? Furthermore, in the case
of primary control, we see that students in America have a tendency
to like primary control where they make the choices. Problem is that
university students belong to high SES(socioeconomic standard) so
their not used to the lack of choice.
How does culture affect the mind?
Clifford Geertz: we have the natural equipment to live 1000 different
lives but end up only living one.
Marriage is nearly universal but marital practices vary across
Culture and mind are inextricably bound
Mind is dependent on culture, and we see that based on the fact that aspects
of mind are expressed differently across cultures
Cultures influence what we think about and how we procces information.
Understanding of mind= understanding of culture
Ex. NA school systems “performance promotion -track” students looking at
individual strength etc.. and in japa nthe are all treated the same and passed
to next grade no matter whether one si smatter than other(social
promotion). This cultural difference creates a mind difference
Cultures developed out of participation of like minded individuals creating
cultural norms. So here we see how minds affect culture, and how the mind
of others comes to be affected by the culture
Need to consider each when looing at one. They’re bound
Sensitive period for cultural learning
Were are wired to know 150 phonemes but only use 70 for one language so
we can learn any language growing up. as we age ability decreases for
There is a a period in which we can learn culture. Feeling of being Canadian
is dependent on what age one moves here. When people move to new place
with new culture they retain an echo of the previous culture “accent”
Cultural differences in psychological processes is more pronounced with
Cultural differences increase with age as the people are socialized into the
own cultural worlds
Ex. Correspondence bias; the use of personal attributes to explain action
over situational attributes to explain action. People of western descent
fall into this trap. This trend increases with age. Motorcycle incident
places blame on attorney for being callous by adult Americans whereas
opposite is of indian adults who look at the situation.
Self concept varies across cultures
People come to view themselves in different way s depending on what
culture they grow up in
Individualistic cultures; sense of self is grounded in internal aspect of
themselves, look at how they are distinct
Collectivist; interdependent, and reliant on shared aspects of selves in
groups. Look at harmony and connectedness with others
EX. Brain scans done of American and chinese people. Each are asked to use
words to describe themselves and there mothers. Chinese people had one
area light up had been activated, indicating that the two ideas are fused and
that they are more collectivistic
Western cultures powerfully make them self’s feel consistent in themselves.
Attitude matches up with behaviors OR people change there ideas to match
Interdependent self construal varies much more than the indepenant self
construal. This is seen in that jaaopnese people change there answers on a
personality sheet depending on what setting theyre writing it in whereas
americans don’t change depending on where they are.
North Americans make decsions with rationalizations. Focus on positives
rather than negatives Postdecisional dissonance
Asians don’t follow PDD. Make decisions consistent with other expectations
People strive to be consistent in different ways!!!!!
Psychological consequences of moving cultures
Acculturation:process of adaptation to a different culture.
Many factors influence the acculturation for a person, so its hard to define
broad rules for ir.
What can be said though is that: it involves psychological adjustment, and it
is very stressful, graudual process
Acculturation can be measured in a persons attitude to the new
U shaped curve demonstrates peoples happiness with the new culture. Nove
exotic experiences called honeymoon stage. Then comes crisis/culture shock
where people become unhappy. It is a feeling of anxiety, helplessness,
irritability and home sickness. The comes adjustment where people adjust
One factor predicting acculturative success is cultural distance: differences
between two cultures. difference in hertiages of two cultures makes it very
Cultural fit: is the degree to which ones values and behavioral norms align
with the other culture