Introduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology

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Introduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology
University of Phoenix

Introduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology
Culture plays an important part in one’s life as it relates to the field of psychology. Culture enables one to define him or herself and differ from one to another, and helps one survive. Culture facilitates self-expression, through language, appearance, and behavior. Culture exists everywhere and is a product of one’s environment. The significance of culture and its influence by oneself and others will be explained in this paper. In addition, the role of critical thinking in cross-cultural psychology and the scientific method involved with cross-cultural research will be addressed, and defined. Definition of Cultural and Cross-Cultural Psychology

Culture is learned, passed down, from generation to generation and strongly influences individual behavior. It is an existing element in one’s environment, shaped by oneself and many others. Culture either shapes or influences one and is what makes one human. Psychology is the study of human behavior and performance; therefore, it is vital that the cultural and cross-cultural aspects are considered in determining the cause of one’s actions. Behavior is affected by sources both biological and environmental in nature but these do not entirely explain human behavior. There must be an acknowledgement of the social-cultural conditions, in which behavior occurs. Thus, cultural psychology looks to identify the link that between culture and psychology. This recognition allows one to perceive that cognitive operations are variable products occurring between culture and oneself in the kind of environment by which one is surrounded (Segal, Dasen, Berry & Poortinga, 1999). Culture is two-fold, either bringing people together or pulling people apart. This newer discipline of cross-cultural psychology, acknowledges important factors and considers many cultures when defining the actions and behaviors of individuals. Culture should be not confused with society, race, and ethnicity. Though these factors contribute to individualism, they differ from culture itself. For example, culture is a shared experience within a group and leads to specific behaviors among the group, whereas society is made of people. Cross-cultural psychology uses various approaches to facilitate one’s understanding of how human behavior varies in diverse cultural settings. These include evolutionary, sociological, and ecocultural. The evolutionary approach, for instance, considers biological factors contributing to one’s behavior whereas the ecocultural approach considers that a person cannot be acknowledged without considering one’s environment (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). The Relationship between Cultural and Cross-Cultural Psychology Cultural psychology interfaces with other disciplines, including philosophy, and anthropology. While other disciplines permit a wider perspective, cultural psychology focuses solely on how one’s culture affects his or her behavior and how this connection comes into existence. G Cultural psychology is aware that human energy cannot be solely explicated by other factors including one’s genetic predispositions. Instead, cultural psychology sees one’s mind and culture forming a unity that should be not separated when trying to explain behavior. On the other hand, cross-cultural psychology, despite interfacing with other fields such as anthropology and history, prefers to compare various cultures against each other while discovering more about differences and similarities and their effect on humanity. Both disciplines clearly consider the aspects of culture; therefore, their starting points do not differ much. However, they also deviate from each other in that cultural psychology is mostly concerned with understanding the relationship one has with a culture, whereas cross-cultural psychology is mainly interested...
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