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Cross Cultural Psych


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What is cross cultural psychology?
The critical and comparative study of cultural effects on human psychology
Cross Cultural Psychology is a comparative field. What does this mean?
Every study draws its conclusions from at least two samples that represent at least two cultural groups.
What is Culture?
A set of attitudes, behaviors, and symbols shared by a group of people and usually communicated from one generation to the next.
Traditional Culture
Traditional= culture "based largely on beliefs, rules, symbols, and principles, established predominatntly in the past, confined in local or regional boundaries, restricting and mostly intolerant to social innovations.
Non-Traditional Culture
Non-Traditional:culture based largely on modern beliefs, rules, symbols,and principles, relatively open to other cultures, absorbing and dynamic, science-based and technologically-driven, and relatively tolerant to social innovations.
Group of people sharing something in common
A group of people distinguished by certain similar and genetically transmitted physical characteristics
A cultural heritage shared by a category of people who also share a common ancestral origin, language,and religion
a large group of people who constitute a legitimate independent state, and share a common geographic origin, history, and frquently language
Behavior based on concerns for other people, traditions, and values they share together. Examples: Asian culture/communism
Complex behavior based on concern for oneself and one's immediate family or primary group as opposed to concern for other groups to which one belongs. Examples: United States belief
the view that supports judgment about other ethnic, national, and cultural groups and events from the observer's own ethnic, national, or cultural group's outlook
the view that encourages recognition of equality from all cultural and national groups and promotes the idea that various cultural groups have the right to follow their own paths of development and have their unique activities, values, and norms.
Sociobiological approach
model that explores the ways in which biological factors affect human behavior. Example: Natural Selection:Survival of the Fittest, people will adapt behavior to survive in environment.
Sociological approach
view of human behavior that focuses on broad social structures that infuence society as a whole.
Example: Karl Marx: economic factors are the prime causes of human behavior and beliefs. Each society is divided roughly into two large and anagonistic social class. Those without resources or technologies become a social class without access to power.
Ecocultural approach
the individual can't be separated from his/her environmental context.
Brofenbrenner: environment categorized into four interdependent systems: Microsystem (family/friends), Mesosystem(sunday school teacher), Exosystem(media), Macrosystem (customs/beliefs).
process of the individual's goal directed interaction with the environment
Access to resources
unifies and separates people and cultures. Affects aspects of culture and individual behavior.
Quantitative Research
Involves measurement of certain aspects of human activity from a comparative perspective.
measures of central tendency
indicates the location of a score distribution on a variable. Describes where most of the distribution is located.
The mode, median, mean
mode: most frequently occuring score
median:score at 50th percentile
mean: average
nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio
correlation results
correlation is not causation!
pros and cons of qualitative research:
pros: can give an in depth form of information
cons: tendency for bias
no numerical analysis
Psychobiographical approach
a longitudinal analysis of particular individuals, usually outstanding persons, celebrities, and leaders, representing different countries or cultures.
a reserch method that systematically organizes and summarizes both the manifest and latent content of communication
types of studies
absolutist approach
A view in cross-cultural psychology that psychological phenomena are basically the same in all cultures (etic)
Relativeist approach
A view in cross-cultural psychlogy that psychological phenomena should be studied only from "within" a culture where these phenomena occur (emic)
The act of thiking about thinking; engaging in a critical analysis and evaluatin of the thinking process.
bias of language
language can reflect whether we like or dislike something, lead to causation, also politically incorrect language could offend participants.
Dichotomous Variable
Dichotomous Variable: any variable that can be placed into either of two discrete and mutually exclusive categories
Continuous Variable
Any variable that lies along a dimension, range, or spectrum, rather than in a discrete category, that can theoretically take on an infinite number of values and is expressed in terms of quantity, magnitude, or degree.
Similarity-Uniqueness Paradox
determining similarities and differences between any set of events is dependent on the perspectives in which you tend to view them.
Barnum effect
people's willingness to accept the validity of such overly inclusive and generic appaisals
Assimilation bias
Modify clashing information to fit the information that is pre-existing
Representativeness heuristic/bias
A mental shortcut to fit new information in a specific category.
Fundamental attribution error
explaining the behavior on others due to personality rather than context or situation. Ex: no eye cantact means lying, sneaky, shy.
Post hoc error/parataxic reasoning
based usually on superstition. If an event follows another, one assumes it was caused by the previous event. Not shaving for a week helped caused the football team to win.
Belief in perserverence effect
protecting our beliefs to protect ourselves. Cling to our beliefs sometimes even in the face of contrary evidence.
process by which receptor cells are stimulated and transmit their information to higher brain centers.
Absolute threshold
the minimum amount of physical energy needed for an individual to notice a stimulus
difference threshold
lowest level of stimulation required to sense that change in the stimulation has occurred.
sensory adaptation
tendency of the sensory system to respond less to stimuli that continue without change.
the process that organizes various sensations into meaningful patterns
Carpentered-world hypothesis
Learned tendency by those living in industrialized cultures to interpret non rectangular figures as rectangles in perspective. (Because we are surrouned by more restricted boxed environments)
the subjective awareness of oens own sensations, perceptions, and othe rmenatal events. Has several stages or states.
Behavioral environment
a mental representation of time, space, and the interpersonal world. Specific cultural beliefs and practices shape the individual's behavioral environment.
monophasic cultures and dreams
value cognitive experiencs that take place only during normal waking phases and do not incorporate dreams.
polyphasic cultures and dreams
treat them as worldview on psychoogical experience. Associated with spiritual or traditonal view.
manifest content
actual content of recalled dream
latent content
dream's meaning
Relationship between aletered states of concisousness and culture
ASCs are not highly regarded by western academic psychologists; however Buddhists believe ASC such as meditation can lead to deepended understanding of reality.
What is intelligence?
global capacity to think rationally, act purposefully, overcome obstacles, and adapt to a changing environment
Central cognitive function
one factor that determines the level of performance on a variety of cognitive tasks.
What correlation was associated with the central cognitive function?
positive correlations among performances on verbal, spatial, numerical, and other assessment problems.
What does academic ranking correlate with?
measures of general knowledge, arithmetic ability, and vocabulary
Multidimensional structure of intelligence
there are three fundamental aspects of intelligence:
analytic,creative, and practical
Most intelligence tests only measure analytic ability
what skill requires everyday experience and motivation?
Practical skills
Garner's multiple intelligences
Along with logical, linguistic, or spatial intelligence measured by tests, there are other special kinds of musical, bodily kinesthetic, and personal intelligence (a person's ability to understand himself or herself or other people)
Urban and high SES children do better on intelligence tests, why?
Because of their increased interaction and availability to resources. Also: perhaps more emphasis on memorization influence test performance.
Asian countries tend to perform better. Why?
There is a particular set of social norms developed in East Asian countries. Parents and teachers spend more time and effort on the development of formal mathematical skills with children. The differences in educatinal norms and attitudes most likely cause the difference in test performance.
Formal Mathematical Reasoning
basic cognitive operation that is based on abstract analysis of given premises and deriving a conclusion from them
Empirical reasoning
drawn from every day experience
originality or the ability to produce valued outcomes in a novel way
Persistent parental support and positive stimulation are correlated with creativity. Why?
Because when children are encouraged, they are more likely to express different ideas. Also when they are shown variety of stimulation they can expand creative thoughts.
Psychometric Approach
our intelligence can "receive" a numerical value. Controverisal because of debate about how accurately values can be assigned and interpreted.
What is and is not measured by IQ tests?
IQ tests measure various cognitive sills such as verbal/nonverbal problems, perceptual judgments, puzzles, and word associations. It does not measure wisdom and creativity. Factors that can influence test scores are language, test content, and motivation.
What can influence scores of an IQ test?
Motivation, attitudes, or emotional state of test taker
Low effort Syndrome
An example of the coping strategy: "No matter how hard I try, I will be held back."
Wisdom and creativity in IQ tests?
These are not measured by IQ tests, but considered a valuable aspect of intelligence. IQ tests only measure cognitive skills.
Does IQ = intelligence?
It does not necessarily mean intelligence, but high IQ in western socieies are correlated with social success. High IQ individuals are represented among doctors, scientists, lawyers, and business executives.
Can "intelligence" be measured?
There is controversy that "intelligence" can be measured or scored numerically due to multiple aspects of intelligence (various from cognitive skills), and factors that can influence scores such as motivation and attitude.
Robert Sternberg Hypothesis:
Believed in distinguishing between intelligence and intelligent behavior. Intelligence is a mental process that may result in particular behaviors. Differences can result from each culture.
believed that intelligence could not be understood without taking into consieration the cultural environment in which the person develops.
How can you explain differences between cultures ethnicities, and socioeconomic factors?
Differences are explained due to the attitudes and norms of each culture as well as the resources available in which high socioeconomic families can provide.
What explains research result explains genetic influence on intelligence?
IQ scores of identical twins raised together and separately correlate at .90, adopted children strongly correlate with biological parents, not adoptive parents
Effects of living in certain geographic regions:
different geographic regions have a different emphasis on important skills. Some regions may value huning where others may value mathematics. Also, different regions may have different SES, or enviornmental factors. Some regions are known for Iodine deficiency affecting intelligence scores.
IQ tests were developed by whom?
primarily by white males from European adn North American countries
IQ scores lower for which group?
non white groups, particularly African Americans
What groups are intelligent tests integral to?
Special education and gifted
Do differences between groups mean that the test is biased against the group scoring lower?
Not necessarily
Hobson v. Hanson (1967)
Supreme court found that ability tests developed on whites could not lawfully be used to track black students within a school system.
Hobson v. Hanson conclusions:
Focused on group-administered tests
Tracking system: disproportionate number of based on standardized tests
IQ tests used to track students were culturally biased because they were standardized on a white middle class sample- tests inaccurate for lower class and black students -tracking system overturned
Dianna vs. State Board of Education
Class action suit filed on behalf of nine Latino childen who were placed in Educable Mental Retardation. If allowed to speak in Spanish, students gained 15 points
more than 1 test
Test in native language
periodic re-evaluation
must meet the validity test
Moses vs. Washington Parish School Board
Used intelligence tests for special education placement
Used achievement tests for tracking
Could not use current tests for tracking
Larry P. Vs Riles (1971-1979)
Disproprotionate numbers of black children placed in Educable Mental Retardation classes based on I testing results. Ruled that intelligence tests were racially and culturally biased, discriminator impact against black children
Effects of Court Decisions:
Now tests are much more rigorous about checking for item bias before publication. EMR placements are much lower for minority group children, not only because of scrutiny of the tests, but also because of effectiveness of special educaiton itself has been questioned.
Hernstein and Murray
Social and economic advantages that whites have over blacks is due to their greater intelligence. Low intelligence results in social and ecosomic disadvantages. Low intelligence correlates with high rates of crime, illegitimacy, and poverty
What about Perception and Intelligence?
Blacks always perceived to be below everyone else. Even the poorest whites still see themselves better than blacks and thus do not agitate the system for social change.
an evaluative response thay typicaly includes some combination of physiological arousal, subjective experience, and behavioral expression.
Display rules
refer to particular cultural rules about how to feel in particular situations
James Lange Theory
Emotion results from physiological states triggered by stimuli in the environment. Emotion occurs after physiological reactions.
Cannon Bard Theory
Emotion and physiological reactions occur simultaneously
Schacter and Singer's Theory
Emotional events produce internal, physiological arousal. As we sense the arousal, we look to the external world for an explanation of why we are aroused. We interpret the external cues present and label the emotion.
Plutchik Theory
Emotions have 4 dimensions
Positive or Negative: Enhance self-esteem, improve relationships, Depress quality of relationships
Primary or Mixed: Primary: happiness, digust, surprise, sadness, anger, fear, love
Many are polar opposites and vary in intensity
Opponent-Process Theory:
Primary emotions and Secondary emotions
Secondary emotions act to bring us back to equilibrium; stengthens with repeated exposure.
Darwin argued that facial expressions of humans are:
Innate,not learned
the same in all cultures around the world
evolved from the emotions of animals
Culture and expression of emotions
similarities and differences
similarities across culture of facial expression and vocal expression
display rules are NOT culturally univeral
Why do emotions vary culturally?
because they are based on different experiences that are relaed to the culture in which they originate.
Gender and Emotion
some evidence suggests that women probably express emotions more intensely and openly than do men
Stereotypes of Emotion
Japanese could be seen as cold and unsympathetic due to lack of expression, but culturally they are socialized to refrain from public emotion due to belief in weakness.
Emotional experiences
emotional assesment can vary between experiences. Cultural beliefs such as individualisic or collectivism can affect emotions; cultural beliefs have an affect, and socializaton practices may also affect expression.
Anger is niversal and often include situations that inflict a violation on others. It can be seen differently in expression though for example: Japaneese see anger as negative due to thier belief in collective harmony. US see anger as a source of personal expression.
Preceding Events and Emotion
Similarity across culture, BUT similar sitations can be interpreted differently across culture
May lead to different emotions
can lead to mistakes when inteacting between cultures: Examples: Superstitions among Europeans 13 unlucky; Russia afraid of even number of flowers
Culture and Stress and Anxiety
amount of stress and coping strategies vary from person to person. Blacks have developed a special emotional style of behavioral response that reflects cultural way to manage. African Americans emotion is displayed more than whites.
Other aspects to consider when analyzing emotion and culture:
emotion and judgment
emotion and inclination to act
expectations and emotion
emotion as an evaluation
why people behave, think, and feel the way they do
motivated behavior is energized, directed, and sustained
motivation also determines when a behavior will stop
deprivation that energizes the drive to eliminate or reduce the deprivation
an aroused state that occurs because of a physiological need
positive or negative external stimuli or events that motivate an indivdual's behavior
Influences on Motivation:
Biological: motivation based on survival: natural selection; basic instincts, fulfill basic needs;
Cognitive:Intrinsic (pleasure in doing activity) and Extrinsic (pleasure from external environment, praise) motivation
Cultural:industrial and caitalist nations often have higher achievement motivation
Achievement motivation and Culture
Non-industrialized countries:
Lower value on achievement and independence
Higher value on obedience and cooperation
White American and Latino children: Whites more competitive and less cooperative
What is the best predictor of achievement?
Social Class, NOT ethnicity!
What social class has higher expectations for success?
Middle class have higher expectations for success and higher aspirations; recognize the importance of effort more than lower class.
Why are Korea, Taiwan, and Japan in top three in math and science?
Because they are collectivist-success motivation: directs a person to connect with other people; individual's success benefit group or society;
grades are seen as competion which influence motivation;
Why Americans lower achievement with math and science:
American parents are satisfied with children's performance, standards are lower than Asian parents.
Attribute math achievement to innate ability.
Asian parents believe math achievement is due to effort and training.
Over Justification Effect
Rewards and praise that inform people of their achievemetns boost intrinsic motivation. Rewards that seek to control people and lead them to believe it was the reward that caused the effort diminish the intrinsic appeal of an enjoyable task.
Culture and Rewards
Differences between collectivist and individualist cultures?
Collectivist: for the greater good of the group;
Individualist: greater for self; more agressive and egotistical
Insufficent Justification Effect:
The smallest incentive that will get people to do something is usually the most effective in getting them to:
like the activity,
keep on doing it
cognitive dissonance theory
In some situations, what an individual does can change his attitude. According to social psychologists, this is an attempt to reduce cognitive dissonance (discord) by a change in personal belief.
Social Loafing
people put forth less effort when their effort is being pooled toether with the effort of a group as compared to their effort when alone
Culture similarities in sex
adultery and sterility are the most common reasons for divorce;
men attracted to similar qualities;similar sources of sexual tension/jealousy
cultural differences in sex
sexual activity/attitudes
changes in physical, psychological, and social behavior that are experiences by individuals across the life span
process by which an individual becomes a member of a particular culture, takes on its values and behaviors

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