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Chapter 16

PSY100 Chapter 16

7 Pages

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Dan Dolderman

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Chapter 16 - Cultural Psychology • Culture is any kind of info acquired by individuals through imitative or social learning • Cultural learning in monkey (learn to wash potatoes) & dolphins (use distinctive sounds to communicate) • However, human cultural learning is much more extensive, pervades all aspects of our lives  humans are the only true cultural species Humans Evolved to Accumulate Cultural Information • Clear relationship b/t the average group size of primates and the proportion of cerebral cortex in their brains • Larger the group size, larger the cerebral cortex • Finding suggests that human brains evolved to be as big as they are b/c cognitive capacities of large brain adaptive for social living • Study compared 2 year old kid w/ chimps & orangutan • Same results for cognitive tasks/general problem solving, but 2 year olds did much better for social-learning tasks • Communication skills – language- allowed individuals to coordinate behaviours, describe threats or opportunities, communicate needs, etc. • Theory of mind- ability to identify intentions of fellow group members, helps social learning to occur which allows humans to accumulate cultural information • ex: ancestors used simple tools nowadays, have more complex tools • in chimps, cultural info does not accumulate, each generation must start at € 1 Cultural Psychology: study of how culture shapes psychological processes • cultural environments are larger, more inclusive forms of social environments • easily leave one social situation to go another, one rarely leaves own cultural environment “water to a fish” • findings of cultural psychology limited by participants only being Western university students, and many findings do not replicate well across cultures • Universal characteristics & behaviours that hold true for all human cultures • Live in family, age statuses, leaders, baby talk, dance, feasting, gossip, facial expressions, childhood fear of strangers, aesthetics, medicine, language, etc. • However, these characteristics are shaped and expressed differently across all cultures (ex: marriage polygamy, homosexuality, monogamy Culture and mind are inextricably bound • Cultures emerge from the interaction of the minds of people that live within them. Cultures in turn shape the kinds of things those minds think about. • Ex: differences in school system in North America & Japan • N.A: highlights individuality and specific needs of students, grouped according to their abilities (reflects belief of most N.As- importance of individual’s needs) • Japan: emphasizes importance of student’s belonging to peers- all students promoted together to next grade regardless of ability (reflects belief of Japanese- importance of developing strong sense of bonding with one’s peers) Sensitive Period for Cultural Learning • Humans are pre-wired to acquire cultural information at a young age • When born, able to produce and recognize 150 phonemes (no language uses more than 70), but through socialization lose ability to distinguish b/t phonemes not in our own language • Also sensitive period for acquiring other kinds of cultural information • Immigrants from HK to Vancouver after age 15 did not identify with Canadian ways more as time in Canada increased vs. immigrants under 15 Cultural difference in psychological processes shaped with age • Cultural differences in psychological processes tend to increase as people age and are socialized into their respective cultures • Miller found that both Indian & American adults showed more evidence of fundamental attribution error than did 8-15yr olds • 8 year olds made similar responses, attributing behaviour to personal characteristics • Adults in USA far more likely to state personal characteristics, adults in India were far more likely to cite situational characteristics Self-concept varies across cultures • Study asked participants how well a number of adjectives described themselves and their mothers • Westerners- different areas of brain activated when describing themselves vs. mom • Chinese- same brain regions activated • People in western cultures motivated to see themselves as consistent • Often change their attitudes to justify actions • Study asked participants to write 20 different sentences about themselves in different settings (room w/ friend, professor’s office, group) • Americans, same similar answers regardless of setting (independent self-construal) • Japanese gave different answers depending on who was in the room with them (interdependent self-construal) Acculturation • Process of adaptation to a culture different form one’s own • all acculturation involves psychological adjustment (regardless of variability in experiences) • U-Shaped Curve- common pattern of adjustment for acculturating individuals 1. honeymoon stage: new culture exciting, new and exotic experiences 2. crisis/culture shock stage: anxiety, helplessness, homesickness (negative attitudes) 3. adjustment stage: learn how to exist in host culture, make friends, improve language skills, develop more positive attitudes toward culture (may take number of years) • not everyone has same acculturating experiences • depends on cultural distance: difference b/t cultures in their overall ways of life • depends on cultural fit: degree to which an individual’s values and personalities allow them to fit in with their host cultures • ↓ cultural distance, ↑ cultural fit= easier acculturation is Frame-switching: changing how you think and behave depending on the context • Occurs not just for consciously accessible behaviours (way we talk to friends vs. volunteering), but also for unconscious thoughts such as making attributions • Ying-yi Hong people who have been exposed to 2 cultural worlds can frame switch b/t making situational or personal attributions depending on context • Chinese ppl in HK – exposed to both Western influence (British colony) & traditional Chinese ways • Participants shown pictures intended to prime traditional Chinese thoughts (great wall, dragon, rice farmer) or western thoughts (statue of liberty, mickey mouse) • After shown stimulus of 1 fish in front of a group of fish • Those primed with Chinese images more likely to view fish as being chased by others (situational forces) vs. Western images- viewed fish as leading others (behaviour driven by personal decisions) Adam Galinsky- people who lived in multiple cultures have enhanced creativity • Participants primed to think about adapting to life in another culture, observing foreign culture & no instructions  then draw alien • People who lived in multiple cultures, asked to think of adapting to life in another culture became more creative than those in other conditions • Explanation: Adapting to a new culture makes people aware of multiple perspectives, and this awareness makes them more creative Cultures differ in analytic and holistic thinking • Ji, Zhang, Nisbett {dog, carrot, rabbit- which does not belong?” • Americans- group dog and rabbit as animals, exclude carrot= taxonomic categorization: stimuli grouped on the basis of perceived similarities of attributes • Chinese group rabbit and carrot together, exclude dog= thematic categorization: stimuli grouped on the basis of relationships among them Analytical thinking: system of evaluation in which a person views objects as independent from context and in terms of individual characteristics. The person then uses the resulting assessments to form a set of abstract rules meant to precinct and explain the objects. • More common in individualistic cultures (NA) Holistic thinking: system of evaluation in which a person views objects with regard to context and in terms of the relationships between them. The person then uses the resulting assessments to guide behaviour. • More common in collectivist cultures (East Asia) Masuda & Nisbett study- showed East Asians and Americans images of caribous • Shown same picture twice, both groups high level of accuracy, “I’ve seen it before” • When placed caribous against different backgrounds, East Asian participants did much worse- tend to focus on background a lot more vs. focal object (Americans) Figure Line Test • People with analytical perceptual styles excel at separating focal object from background, tend to be good at absolute task (East Asians more activity in brain regions associated w/attentional control found it harder) • Holistic perceptual styles good at relative task- observe relationship b/t focal object a
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