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Chapter 4

PSY321H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Odisha, Social Loafing, Kibbutz

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Nick Rule

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Universal Brains Develop into Culturally Variable Minds
- “we all begin with the natural equipment to live a thousand kinds of life but end in the end
having lived only one”
Sensitive Periods for Cultural Socialization
- a sensitive period is a period of time in an organism’s development that allows for the relatively
easy acquisition of a set of skills
Sensitive Periods for Language Acquisition
- people aren’t able to discriminate easily between some phonemes that aren’t in their own
- research with infants suggests that young infants can discriminate among all the phonemes
that humans are able to produce
- as we are exposed to language, we begin to categorize sounds in ways that are used by
the language
- within the first year of life, children begin to lose the ability to distinguish between closely
related sounds that aren’t in their own language
- exploited by the military, use words called shibboleths, those who learned the language late in
life have a difficult time pronouncing
- studies of bilingual individuals’ brains
- learned second language late in life, one part of the brain is active when they hear their
second language, another when they hear their native language
- learned second language early in life, showed activation in the same part of the brain
- wild boy of Aveyron, 1800 France, lived in the wild for most of his life
- was coached to speak for several years but only learned to speak only two words
- Genie, raised alone in silence until 13
- vocabulary at the time of discovery consisted of two words
- never developed any mastery over grammar or syntax
Sensitive Periods for Acquiring Culture
- Minoura (1992) targeted Japanese-born children who moved to the US at different ages
- reasoned: if there was a sensitive period for learning cultures, then people who moved at
different ages would have different understanding of American and Japanese ways
- at age 9, some permanence emerged in the retention of learned cultural meanings
- those who moved before 9 reported becoming largely “Americanized”, 9-15 retained
some Japanese cultural sensibilities but also felt reasonably comfortable with American
ways, after age 15, never fully able to embrace American culture
Cultural Differences in Psychological Processes Emerge with Age
- research reveals that E. Asians and N. Americans differ in how they expect the future to unfold
- N. Americans are more likely to expect that trends will continue in the same direction, E.
Asians are more likely to expect that change will be nonlinear
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