PSY321H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Joseph W. Phinney, Embeddedness, Egalitarianism

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6 Mar 2013
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PSY321
Chapter 1
Cultural Psychology Psychology with a Cultural Perspective
The Goals of Psychology
Psychology has two main goals
1. To build a body of knowledge about people
Psychologists seek to understand behaviour when it happens,
explain why it happens, and even predict it before it happens.
They achieve this by conducting research and creating theories of
behaviour
2. Taking that body of knowledge and applying it to intervene in people’s
lives, to make those lives better.
Psychologists achieve this in many ways: as therapists,
counsellors, trainers, and consultants
Cultural Psychology and Cross-Cultural Research
WEIRDOS (American students only rep 5% of world)
o Western
o Educated
o Industrialized
o Rich
o Democratic cultures
Cross-cultural research involves participants of more than one cultural
background
o Tests possible limitations in our knowledge, by examining whether
psychological theories and principles are universal (true for all people of
all cultures), or culture-specific (true for only some cultures)
What is Culture?
Culture can be used to describe activities or behaviours, refer to the heritage or
tradition of a group, describe rules and norms, describe learning or problem
solving, define the organization of a group, or refer to the origins of a group
It can also refer to general characteristics; food and clothing; housing and
technology; economy and transportation; individual and family activities;
community and government; welfare, religion, and science; and sex and the life
cycle
Where Does Culture Come From?
3 different origins of culture: ecology, resources, and people
Ecology
o Climate
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PSY321
Its not just absolute temperature that affects culture ways of
living; more specifically, it’s the deviation from temperate
climate
Humans need to regulate their body temp, (22)
Much colder/hotter makes life much more difficult and
demanding
Greater risks of food shortage and food spoilage, stricter diets,
more health problems
People in hotter climates tend to organize their daily activities
more around shelter, shade, and temp changes that occur during
that day
More demanding cold or hot climates arouse a chain of needs
shared by all inhabitants of a residential area
o Population density
The ratio of the # of people that live in a specific area to the size
of the area that can grow food and sustain the population
It is the # of people in relation to the amount of
o Arable land in that areathat is the amount of land on which food can
grow to sustain the people in that area
Resources
o Food
o Water
o Money
People
o Group living
More efficient b/c they allow us to divide labour
Potential for social conflict and chaos
o Basic human needs and motives
Physical needs
- Eat, drink, sleep, deal w/ waste, reproduce
Safety and security needs
- Hygiene, shelter, warmth
o Universal psychology toolkit
Aptitudes and cognitive abilities that help people adapt to their
environments to address their basic needs and social motives
Tomasallo, Kruger, and Ratner (1993) ratchet effect moving
forward
Universal
Cognitive Abilities
Language
Complex social
cognition
Memory
Hypothetical
reasoning
Problem solving
Planning
Emotions
Basic emotions
Self-conscious
Personality Traits
Extraversion
Neuroticism
Openness
Agreeableness
Conscientiousness
Emotions
Basic emotions
Self-conscious
emotions
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PSY321
A Definition of Culture
The Function of Culture
A Definition
o Tylor (1865)
All capabilties and habits learned as members of a society
o Linton (1936)
Social heredity
o Kroeber and Kluckholn (1952/1963)
Patterns of and behaviour acquired and transmitted by symbols,
constituting and distinct achievements of human groups,
including their embodiments in artifacts
o Rohner (1984)
The totality of equivalent and complentary learned population,
and transmitted from one generation to the next
o Jahoda (1984)
Not only rules and meanings but also behaviours.
o Pelto and Pelto (1975)
Defined culture in terms of personality
o Geertz (1975)
Shared symbol systems transcending individuals
o Berry et al. (1992)
Shared way of life of a group of people
o Baumeister (2005)
Info-based system that allows people to live together and satisfy
needs
Group Life
Social Complexity
Need for Social
Coordination
Culture
Behaviours that Increase
Social Coordination and
Reduce Social Chaos
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Document Summary

Cultural psychology psychology with a cultural perspective. Psychology has two main goals: to build a body of knowledge about people. Psychologists seek to understand behaviour when it happens, explain why it happens, and even predict it before it happens. They achieve this by conducting research and creating theories of behaviour: taking that body of knowledge and applying it to intervene in people"s lives, to make those lives better. Psychologists achieve this in many ways: as therapists, counsellors, trainers, and consultants. Weirdos (american students only rep 5% of world: western, educated, rich, democratic cultures. It can also refer to general characteristics; food and clothing; housing and technology; economy and transportation; individual and family activities; community and government; welfare, religion, and science; and sex and the life cycle. 3 different origins of culture: ecology, resources, and people. Its not just absolute temperature that affects culture ways of living; more specifically, it"s the deviation from temperate climate.

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