Intro to X-Cultural Psych

  1. cross-cultural psychology
    • the study of similarities and differences in individual psychological functioning in various cultural and ethnocultural groups; of ongoing changes in variables reflecting such functioning; and of the relationship of psychological variables with sociocultural, ecological, and biological variables.
    • cause and effect relationships between culture and behaviour
    • kinds of cultural experiences may be factors in promoting human behavioural diversity
    • culture-comparative
    • are culture and behaviour distinct entities?
  2. overt behaviour
    observable actions and responses
  3. covert behaviour
    thoughts, beliefs, meanings
  4. universalism (psychic unity)
    • To what extent are psychological functions and processes common to humankind?
    • overt and covert behaviour should be seen as culturally shaped reflections of common psychological functions and processes.
    • focus on how different ecological and sociocultural environments impact shared human psychological functions/processes and lead to differences in behaviour repertoires
  5. cultural psychology
    • culture and behavior are essentially inseparable and different psyches will emerge in different cultural contexts
    • shift in interest to internal culture and covert behaviour
    • psychological variables are interpreted as differences in functioning rooted in psychological histories
  6. culture-comparative approach
    • cultural conditions are seen as existing independently of particular individuals
    • x-cultural differences in behaviour do not imply differences in underlying processes
    • goal of finding what might be psychologically common to a range of cultures/human species
    • any theoretically meaningful psychological concept should make sense everywhere, despite large variations in behaviour manifestations
    • cultural context = antecedent conditions, and psychological variables = outcomes
    • selection of populations with different antecedent conditions to measure differences in behavioural outcomes
    • leans toward universalism, culture is both internal and external
  7. ecocultral framework
    • conceptual scheme where features of a culture are understood via the manner of their relationships
    • human beings are active participants in their relationships with their physical and social contexts
    • population-level variables influence individual outcomes and vice versa; mediated via various forms of transmission (pg. 19-21)
  8. ecological context
    • the setting in which human organisms interact with he physical environment
    • eg. economic activities, socioeconomic status
  9. sociopolitical context
    host of variables covering norms, beliefs, attitudes, and ideas
  10. biological/genetic transmission
    individuals acquire part of the total gene pool of the population to which they belong trough their biological parents
  11. cultural transmission
    processes of socialization and enculturation through which the individual acquires part of the total pool of cultural information available in the society or community
  12. acculturation
    contacts between populations due to historical and contemporary experiences which involves mutaual influence between the groups in contact
  13. internal culture
    • the extent to which culture is conceptualized as part of the person
    • eg. ideas, philosophies, beliefs, etc
  14. external culture
    • the extent to which a set of conditions outside of the person is considered culture
    • eg. mode of subsistence, political organization, ecological/social context, poverty, climate, acculturation
  15. relativism
    • To what extent are psychological functions and processes unique to specific cultural groups?
    • focus on how the functions and processes themselves are the outcome of interactions between oragnism and context; they are inherently cultural
  16. Whorf's Hypothesis
    • most of people's thinking involves mainly language
    • therefore, thoughts are different when languages are different
  17. culture-as-a-system
    • (organization of cultural differences)
    • far-reaching generalizations, largely dismissed
  18. cultural dimensions
    • (organization of cultural differences)
    • broad conceptualizations eg. individualism-collectivism
    • concern with validity because difficult to properly validate and impossible to falsify
  19. styles
    • (organization of cultural differences)
    • patterns of cognitive abilities
    • how peoples in certain cultures tend to approach cognitive problems
    • inferential distance from actual behaviour to the underlying concept is smaller
  20. behaviour domains
    • (organization of cultural differences)
    • generalization of fields of behaviour organized in terms of skills and knowledge
    • more descriptive and less inferential than cognitive styles
  21. indigenous psychology
    • research done by psychologists outside of Europe/NA that is more appropriate and relevant to their local contexts
    • existing instruments/methods/theories were less applicable to local context, esp poverty
    • local psychological concepts that don't have an equivalent in European languages
    • replication with Westerners successful
  22. majority world
    the large part of the world population which is living in a context of poverty and illiteracy
  23. "a" culture
    • a population of persons who have certain artifacts and mentifacts more in common among themselves than with outsiders
    • repertoire of heaviour, including overt and covert aspects, of such a population
    • most frequently a nation state or society
  24. mentifacts
    ideas, beliefs, conventions, etc.
  25. differentiation
    the variance between populations in the behaviour that is being researched should make up a worthwhile part of the total variance
  26. permanence
    culture has an existence of its own beyond the psychological make-up of its individual members because of its permanence; a culture is still there when all its current members are no longer alive
  27. cultunits
    • "culture-bearing units"
    • distinction between separate cultures has to match the kind of grouping for which differences in the psychological variables studied are expected
    • which populations to include is only clear after deciding which variables are to distinguish them
  28. emic approach
    attempt is made to look at phenomena and their interrelationships through the eyes of the people native to a particular culture
  29. etic approach
    • concepts and notions of researchers are rooted in a influence by their cultural background
    • culture comparative: start with imposed ~, evaluate personal conceptions for appropriateness, derived ~ identified from cross-cultural comparisons that can be fairly made
    • cultural approach: never more from imposed to derived, b/c derived doesn't exist
  30. Qualitative research (aka field research)
    • conducted in natural settings with application of multiple, interactive methods
    • data is unstructured and subject to procedural changes as researcher learns
    • heavily depended on researcher interpretation; difficult to establish validity
  31. Quantitative approach
    • culture-comparative research
    • independent variable = cultural condition
    • dependent variable = behavioural variable
  32. Quasi-experients
    • studies that look at groups that already exist and therefore allocation is fixed (ie not random)
    • differences in outcome could be result of uncontrolled variable
    • must consider all possible alternative explanations before accepting hypothesis
Card Set
Intro to X-Cultural Psych
definitions, themes of debate, positions, and research design in cross-cultural psychology