Definition of Cultural and Cross-Cultural Psychology Culture is something learned shaping individuals’ behaviors. It is an impermanent factor of individuals’ environment, created by people, and those around them. Culture can shape individuals or influence how they live. Culture can aid in defining individuals, separating one from other. People’s behaviors are influenced by many sources but such causes do not always account for social-cultural conditions. Cultural psychology attempts to connect cultural conditions with psychological theories.
Important communication between culture and behavior allow individuals to observe that cognitive operations are changeable results in the kind of atmosphere by which individuals surround themselves (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Cross-cultural psychology, considered a new concept in the discipline of psychology, recognizes relevant factors amid various cultures. It does not focus on one culture while attempting to explain behaviors or actions of society, instead it addresses several cultures.
Cross-cultural psychology attempts to explain and describe similarities and differences in human behavior psychologically with reference to sociocultural and ecological factors (Flowers, n. d. ). Culture is not the same as society, race, or ethnicity, however; these elements contribute to individualism. The various approaches used in cross-cultural psychology to help individuals understand how human behavior differs are cultural mixture, ecocultural, evolutionary, the integrative approach and sociological.
Each of these approaches works with the other, for example, the evolutionary method supposes biological factors influence one’s behavior whereas the ecocultural method believes true acknowledgement of individuals comes by viewing one’s environment (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Cross-cultural psychology also adds to both applied and general psychology, involving cultural influences. To decrease negative effects of cultural differences, six kinds of cultural training have been identified. The first is fact-oriented training used to gather information.
The second is attribution training that helps individuals adopt the cultures’ standards. The third is cultural awareness. The fourth is cognitive-behavior modification. The fifth is experiential learning giving individuals positive interaction with local residents, and finally there is the interaction approach. Cross-cultural psychology can contribute to a more international-oriented education for college students (Triandis & Brislin, 1983). The Relationship between Cultural and Cross-Cultural Psychology Cultural psychology is a discipline overlapping other disciplines, including anthropology and philosophy.
Cultural psychology knows human drive cannot be explained by factors such as genetic predisposition. Instead, cultural psychology believes that culture should be united when trying to explain behavior. Meanwhile, cross-cultural psychology, regardless of its compatibility with other fields, compares different cultures contrasting the differences and similarities with their effect on humanity. Both fields of study have a culture in common, but deviate from each other in that cultural psychology is mostly concerned with understanding the relationship individuals have within their own culture.
Whereas cross-cultural psychology is mainly interested in the comparison of various cultures (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). The Role of Critical Thinking in Cross-Cultural Psychology Life is very complex and at times difficult to understand. Critical thinking can be beneficial enabling individuals to traverse life effectively. However, critical thinking is not innate, but rather an ability needing to be learned and honed. The ability to organize thoughts intentionally and accurately, communicating concisely, and solving complex puzzles each use critical thinking. Thinking critically entails asking the correct questions to help solve problems.
Individuals who practice applying critical thinking can better develop this skill or expand on previously learned information. Many traits use critical thinking, such as patience when forming critical decisions, the ability to organize, or the accurate use of language (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Language is vital to critical thinking because correct translation is significant for individuals to understand someone else in the way she wants to be understood. However, translating one to another does not mean one will be understood completely. Individuals must realize language can be employed in various ways; to inspire or to traumatize.
Possessing the ability to choose right from wrong, recognizing reliability and validity in research, abandoning emotions, and overlooking prejudices each requires critical thinking. Furthermore, critical thinking becomes necessary when similarities are made between different groups or cultures. These examples also demonstrate how critical thinking facilitates cross-cultural psychology (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Methodology Associated with Cross-Cultural Research Research is meaningful to cross-cultural psychology. Without research subjects intriguing to psychologists would be open mostly to assumptions.
Cross-cultural psychologists fascinated with commonalities among cultures are interested with how these cultures relate to one another giving rise to certain behaviors. When conducting psychological studies obstacles can often arise creating issue during the course of the research; for example, language barriers. Two different strategies, the application-oriented strategy and the comparativist strategy, allow researcher a choice performing research. Plus researchers can use different approaches to gather samples such as random sampling, through convenience, or systematic sampling (Shiraev & Levy, 2010).
Analyzing data is part of researching culture, and this entails two approaches: the relativist approach and the absolutist approach, also known as the universalist approach. Psychologists supporting the absolutists approach think psychological occurrences in essence are the same culturally. Basically they believe the norms in every culture are the same or are at least ruled by the same values. The relativist approach differs in that psychologists believe human behavior is solely understood within the culture in which individuals dwell and human sychology must be examined within specific cultural atmospheres (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). The Quantitative and Qualitative Methods When psychologists are conducting any form of research, they must choose a proper method. The qualitative and quantitative methods are useful for observation because they are statistically and mathematically based. Using a comparative perspective cross-cultural psychology measures and compares human behavior with various other cultures (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). The qualitative method is valued when some aspects of the research can be difficult to gauge.
It is carried out in towns, neighborhoods, or parks where people are behaving naturally. In this type of study, psychologists attempt to illicit the unspoken facet of culture. Psychologists can use research techniques like focus groups, experimental studies, observations, sample groups, surveys, and more. Psychologists must remember, however, when heading up any research method to be sure their material is transcribed correctly, and they steer clear of prejudicing the outcome (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Conclusion
Culture can influence greatly individuals’ lives, therefore it is important to recognize its influence. Cultural and cross-cultural psychologies are fundamental disciplines, aiding individuals in realizing the affect culture has on human behavior and environment. Through cultural psychology, individuals can see the connection between culture and human behavior. Cross-cultural psychology brings individuals to an awareness of the differences and similarities within their culture and how it affects their behavior.
Without these two psychologies, individuals may never completely comprehend how complex human nature truly is. References Flowers, S. (n. d. ). Cross-cultural psychology curriculum for community college. Retrieved from http://ww2. odu. edu/~jritz/oted885/Cross-CulturalPsychologyCurriculumforCommunityCollege-SusanFlowers1999. pdf Shiraev, E. B. , & Levy, D. A. (2010). Cross-cultural psychology: Critical thinking and contemporary applications (4th ed. ). Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyson Bacon. Triandis, H. C. , &