Research Methodologies In Cultural Psychology

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Research Methodologies In Cultural Psychology

  1. 1. Research Methodologies in Cultural Psychology<br />Benjamin Cheung<br />Langara College<br />October 8, 2009<br />
  2. 2. Problems?<br />What difficulties do you think cultural psychologists encounter in studying cultural differences?<br /><ul><li>Some important practises (and their problems):
  3. 3. Can’t assign “culture” condition
  4. 4. Questionnaire studies
  5. 5. Behavioural studies
  6. 6. Cultural product studies
  7. 7. No such thing as THE perfect method</li></li></ul><li>Implicit vs. Explicit Questionnaires<br />Two types of questionnaire measures:<br />Explicit = characteristic of most scales and questionnaires<br />Questions that “explicitly” ask for opinions and attitudes<br />Implicit = characteristic of most studies other than scales and questionnaires<br />Indirectly probes concepts/attitudes of interest<br />
  8. 8. Explicit Measures: The Good Stuff<br />Very simple, very convenient, not very time consuming<br />Researchers can amass explicit scales and measure many concepts at once (“shotgun” approach)<br />Can run many participants at the same time<br /><ul><li>Easy to use, but can be very problematic</li></li></ul><li>Explicit Measures: The Bad Stuff<br /><ul><li>Sample questions from explicit measures:</li></ul>I enjoy participating in the activities of the mainstream culture<br />I have respect for the authority figures with whom I interact<br />I feel that I have quite a few good qualities<br />What potential problems do you see with scales that use questions like the above?<br />
  9. 9. Explicit Measures: More Bad Stuff<br />Common problems with explicit measures:<br />People say more than they know, and know more than they say<br />Cognitive dissonance (e.g. justification of behaviour)<br />Reference group effect<br /> I’ll focus on this for this lecture<br /><ul><li>Reference group effect
  10. 10. We respond to subjective questions by comparing ourselves to similar others
  11. 11. End up making incomparable comparisons</li></li></ul><li>
  12. 12. It’s All Relative… (Heine, Lehman, Peng, & Greenholtz, 2002)<br />Cultural experts: “Japanese are more interdependent, and less independent, than Americans”<br />Explicit measures don’t match with “expert opinion”<br /><ul><li>Japanese < Canadians on Independences (expected)
  13. 13. Japanese < Canadians on Interdependence (not expected)</li></ul>Interdependence<br />
  14. 14. It’s All Relative… (Heine, Lehman, Peng, & Greenholtz, 2002)<br /><ul><li>What if participants both rate themselves, and rate selves compared to other culture?
  15. 15. For example: “Compared to most Japanese I know, I think I have respect for the authority figures with whom I interact.”</li></ul>People now comparing selves with their cultural counterpart, and reflects expert opinions<br />Further studies show that Asian Canadians show an even wider difference<br />3.5<br />2.5<br />Interdependence<br />
  16. 16. Implicit Measures: Hope or Hype?<br />Indirectly probe concept of interest<br />Example:<br />
  17. 17. So what do you think?<br />Pros:<br />Escape from response biases<br />Theoretically gets to “true values and beliefs,” uncontaminated by conscious control<br />Harder to guess hypothesis<br /><ul><li>Cons:
  18. 18. …Are you serious…? That’s what it tests?
  19. 19. Questionable “face validity,” sometimes questionable “construct validity”
  20. 20. Often not as easy to analyse than explicit measures</li></li></ul><li>All Your Base Are Belong To Us<br />Translation is very tricky, but necessary for cross-cultural studies<br />Does a similar concept exist in target culture?<br />Can you trust one translator?<br />How easy is it to make it sound idiomatic and “regular?”<br />
  21. 21. Common Solutions for Translation Problems<br />Two (or more) bilingual translators<br />Translators simultaneously work on questionnaire<br />Discuss on points of disagreement/discrepancy<br /><ul><li>Back Translation
  22. 22. One bilingual translator works on questionnare
  23. 23. Second bilingual translator re-translates into original language
  24. 24. Lather, rinse and repeat as needed</li></li></ul><li>I’m Watching You…<br />Behavioural studies are more objective<br />Avoids reference effects, response biases, etc.<br />Usually seen as more compelling<br />Often the culmination of several questionnaire studies<br />Ultimately, we are interested in people’s behaviours<br />
  25. 25. Peace of Mind<br />Anderson & Linden (2006) found that Asians also control physiological response to anger<br /><ul><li>Inhibition of anger hinders recovery of blood pressure (BP) for Euro-Canadians
  26. 26. Asian Canadians’ BP had faster recovery rate
  27. 27. Emotions may be experienced/handled differently</li></li></ul><li>Challenges<br />Need to determine specific behaviours to measure<br />Need creative ways to measure behaviours<br />To what extent do we specify or broaden behavioural criterion?<br />E.g. How does your face show “Oops, my bad” without words?<br />E.g. Swedish researchers and Indian family dinner<br />
  28. 28. Cultural Products<br />Echoes Shweder’s conception of cultural psychology – who remembers?<br /><ul><li>Studying mutual influence of person + context/environment
  29. 29. Cultural products = TV commercials, newspaper articles, magazine ads, etc.
  30. 30. Serve as vehicle created by people to express cultural values, and vehicle through which culture is taught to people</li></li></ul><li>The Media and You (Morling & Lamoreaux, 2008)<br />Cultural differences in Individualism and Collectivism can be detected in cultural products<br /><ul><li>Meta-analysis on 40 studies</li></li></ul><li>The worst of culture<br />The Good:<br />Can tap “pure” or ideal representation of cultural value<br />Serves the purpose of examining both people  culture influence, and culture  people influence<br /><ul><li>The Bad:
  31. 31. Lack of generalisability to individual-level cultural values
  32. 32. May falsely represent homogeneity within culture</li></li></ul><li>What’s what?<br />When to use what?<br />Studies tend to be multi-partite<br />Start with questionnaire studies to show support for concept<br />Move on to behavioural or cultural-product studies<br />Progression allows combination of multiple methodologies<br /><ul><li>Multiple methodologies diminishes effects of weaknesses from each individual method – No perfect method</li></li></ul><li>Comparative Breakdown<br />Explicit Questions<br />Implicit Questions<br />Behavioural Studies<br />Cultural Products Studies<br /><ul><li> Cheap
  33. 33. Easy to run
  34. 34. Can use multiple scales and on multiple participants
  35. 35. More immune to response biases
  36. 36. Harder to guess hypothesis
  37. 37. Subject to less conscious control
  38. 38. Objective measurement of values and beliefs
  39. 39. Can show individual-differences
  40. 40. “Pure” cultural idea/values
  41. 41. Can see mutual people + context influence at the same time</li></ul>Pros:<br /><ul><li> Very subjective
  42. 42. Susceptible to response biases
  43. 43. Easier to guess hypothesis
  44. 44. Some have questionable “construct validity”
  45. 45. More expensive
  46. 46. Hard to define specificity of target behaviour
  47. 47. Lacks insight into individual differences
  48. 48. Shows false cultural homogeneity</li></ul>Cons:<br />
  49. 49. That’s all, folks!<br />Thanks, everyone!<br />Contact: bycheung@psych.ubc.ca<br />

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