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An Introduction to Culture and Psychology Chapter 1

THE STUDY OF CULTURE IN PSYCHOLOGY

The Goals of Psychology
-Create body of knowledge about people
-Applying knowledge to improve people’s lives

Cross-Cultural Research and Psychology
-Most theories in psychology based on studies with American university students
-Are these theories true for all people, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, culture, class or lifestyle?
-Cross-cultural psychology answers this question by testing people of differing cultural backgrounds
-Definition of cross-cultural psychology
-Research method testing the cultural parameters of psychological knowledge by comparing data from participants of more than one cultural background
-Cross-cultural psychology is scientific philosophy
-Not topic specific

Contribution of Cross-cultural psychology
1)methodological change in psychology studies by varying cultural background of the samples being studied
2) tests limitations of our knowledge in psychology by examining whether theories are universal or culture-specific

The Growth of Cross-Cultural Psychology
-Cross-cultural psychology has made substantial impact in psychology worldwide in the past decade or two
-This popularity due to increased awareness of importance of culture and frequency of intercultural conflicts
-Published in Journal of cross-cultural psychology, Cross-Cultural Research, Culture and Psychology as well as top-tier mainstream journals

DEFINING CULTURE

-We use “culture” to describe and explain broad range of activities, behaviors, events and structures
-Descriptive, historical, normative, psychological, structural,…