Essay on Cross-cultural Psychology

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Introduction to Cross-cultural Psychology Paper
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PSY / 450
Teacher Name Here When trying to determine what culture is and how it affects individuals and groups within a culture one should consider a few questions that could truly help them identify important characteristics. Have you ever wondered why you do the things you do? Have the thoughts and opinions you have? Why you act and react the way you do? Have you ever asked yourself why you believe in the things you believe in? Why your superstitious, or not? Why you are a Christian, Catholic, or an atheist, etc.? There is a simple answer to all of the above and that is culture. Individuals that grow up in different upbringings have a diverse way of living and can carry out a different life than the next culture. For instance, in this week’s reading, when comparing those people from Honk Kong throwing oranges into a “wishing tree” with notes attached to them and those individuals throwing their coins in the fountains. Both human actions are different but they do also have very similar principles; both of which are beliefs to its respective culture that their wishes will come true, if they do so. Culture refers to many characteristics of a group of people that are transmitted from one generation to the next (Matsumoto, 2000). Different cultures all over the entire universe have similarities when comparing however, they too have remarkable differences as well. Cultural psychology and cross-cultural psychology are often confused with one another. “Cultural psychology seeks to discover meaningful links between a culture and the psychology of individuals living in this culture.” (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Cultural psychology does not critically evaluate the different cultures instead cultural psychology explains the psychological collaboration between the people and the groups within cultures. “Cross-cultural psychology is the critical and comparative study of cultural effects on human psychology.” (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Cross-cultural psychology seeks to understand and look at psychological diversity and the reasons for diversity among people and cultures. Comparative study in cross-cultural psychology is the comparison of two or more cultural groups. Critical thinking is a tool used in daily life, not just in the field of psychology. To think critically is to think with a clear and open mind free of judgment. If there is a problem one must analyze the problem and come up with possible solutions, and rationalize. Critical thinking is to think without being bias. One must make a decision based on thorough reasoning and valid substantiation. In the field of psychology, critical thinking is especially important when comparing people, their race, ethnicity, their different cultures, religions, human behavior, human interaction, human beliefs, values, morals, etc. The object of thinking critically is to be completely impartial and to find the discrepancy concerning facts and philosophies. What is considered “normal” for some is abnormal to others and it is up to the individual doing the research to be unbiased and open to the idea of diversity in itself. Culture itself is referred to as the group characteristics a group of people exhibit and passes down through generations, such as attitudes, behaviors, customs, beliefs, and values. Critical skills are necessary in this study because one must use critical thinking to make those comparisons and decisions. Cross-cultural psychology practices critical thinking and methodical study as tools that allow coherent strategies for review, observation, and problem solving between countries and cultures (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). This division of psychology is indissolubly intertwined with cultural psychology, which delivers the basic elements for cultural psychology's measure and evaluation. Collecting reliable proof is exceedingly imperative for psychologists in order to improve the