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Indigenous Psychology: Incorporating “Culture” in Psychology Research


Executive Summary based on the paper “Indigenous, cultural, and cross-cultural psychology: 
A theoretical, conceptual, and epistemological analysis” ( Uichol Kim, 2000). …

Executive Summary based on the paper “Indigenous, cultural, and cross-cultural psychology: 
A theoretical, conceptual, and epistemological analysis” ( Uichol Kim, 2000).

Explaining the different perspective in culture-oriented research in psychology.

Published in Education , Technology , Business
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  • 1. Indigenous  PsychologyIncorporating “Culture” in psychology researchfrom the indigenous perspective Prof. Dr. Hora Tjitra & Gao Li, Zhejiang University Hangzhou, March 2011
  • 2. Research approaches to explain cultural differencesThe universalist approach The contextualist approach It aims to discover abstract, Each culture should be understood nomothetic, and general laws of Cultural from its own frame of the reference, human functioning (Koch &Leary, including its own ecological, historical, 1985; Shepard 1987). differences philosophical, and religious context. An example of etic approch An example of emic approach Integrationist approach Recognizes the importance of integrating the context and content of psychological knowledge in our research for universals.
  • 3. Outline Research approaches to explain cultural differences Two types of Indigenization Analysis of culture Religion, culture and science ---Confucianism Three impositions of psychology and the indigenous psychologies approach
  • 4. Prof. Dr. Hora Tjitra - Cross-cultural and Business Psychology 14  years  in  Germany 7  years  in  China Dipl.-Psych., Technical University of Braunschweig Organizational Psychology and Human Resource Management Born  and  grew  up   in  Indonesia Dr. Phil., University of Regensburg Intercultural Psychology and Strategic Management Executive Education, INSEAD HR Management in Asia Evaluation  Studies    of  Cross-­‐Cultural  Training 4
  • 5. Two types of Indigenization Indigenization from without Indigenization from within  Transporting psychological theories,  A shift in the scientific paradigm, a concepts, and methods and modifying transformative change in which them to fit the local cultural context theories, concepts, and methods are developed from within, using a bottom-  Derived etic approach is an example up approach.  External imposition  The indigenous psychologies  Accommodative paradigm advocated by Kim and colleagues is an example  Indigenous knowledge is treated as an  Advocate examining knowledge, skills, auxiliary source, not as the primary and beliefs which people have about source of knowledge. themselves, and studying these  Translate traditional philosophical and aspects in their natural contexts religious texts into psychological  The goal is to create a more rigorous, concepts or theories, and then systematic, universal science that can empirically verify. be theoretically and empirically verified,  The current psychological knowledge rather than naively assumed. can be described as the psychology of psychologists, not the psychology of the lay public.
  • 6. Analysis of culture Culture outsider Culture Insider  Cultural products ( e.g. music)  Psychological constructs ( e.g. attitudes)  Organized bodies of knowledge ( e.g. language) Participate in the creation and re-creation of these products e.g. burn a piece of cloth vs. a USA flag
  • 7. Understanding culture from without (1) Traditional psychology: culture was considered to be contextual factor and not included in the research design. The goal of the psychology is to discover objective, abstract, and universal relationships between independent variables and dependent variables. Independent Intervening Dependent 1. Stimulus 1. Black Box 1. Response 2. Culture 2. Subject 2. Behavior 3. Central 3. information Processing unit 3. response Positivistic model of causality
  • 8. Understanding culture from without (2)  Cross-cultural psychology: culture is treated as a quasi-independent variable and behavior as a dependent variable.  Indigenous psychology: culture is an emergent property of individuals and groups interacting with their and human environment. It’s through culture that we think, feel, behave, and interact with reality.
  • 9. Understanding a culture from within  The indigenous psychologies approach recognized two types of knowledge: 1. Analytical, semantic, and declarative knowledge 2. Phenomenological, episodic, and procedural knowledge  The indigenous psychologies approach advocates a transaction model of the causality that focus on the generative and proactive aspects. Agent Situation Action Causal Causal Linkage Linkage 1 Meaning 2 Intention Performance Event Goal Transactional model of causality
  • 10. Religion, culture and science ---Confucianism • Dao constitutes the very essence, basis, and unit of life that perpetuates order, goodness, and righteousness.( Lew,1977) e.g. Xiao Dao • Dao manifests itself in the harmonious opposition of yin and yang, and in humans through te (virtue, goodness, moral excellence).
  • 11. Confucian developmental stages Context Character Age XIN ( ) Adult 19 Society ZHI ( ) Adolescent 9 School LI ( ) Child 6 Family YI ( ) Infant 2 Self Ren ( )
  • 12. Limitations on using Confucianismto explain behavior  Confucianism can be used as a descriptive model, but it should not be used to as an explanatory model. Translate to psychological concepts and then empirically verified.  There are blind spots and biases in all philosophical traditions.  The lay public may not be fully aware of basic Confucian concepts such as ren, yi, li, zhi and xin.  Within a particular culture, there can be competing philosophies and worldviews.
  • 13. International Project References in the Research Areas ofCulture Diversity, Talent Development, and Strategic Change • Building Global Competence for Asian Leaders • Applying Social Medias (Web 2.0) in Learning & Development. • International Employability: Development of Intercultural 14  years  in  Germany Competence of German and Chinese Young Professionals. • Cross-Cultural Learning Behavior: Effectiveness of the Western Technology Transfer and Learning Approaches in China. • Comparative Studies of Chinese-Indonesian Intercultural 8  years  in  China Competence and Sensitivity. • Dynamic Decision Making in Chinese and Multinational Teams. • Intercultural Perspectives of International Post-Merger Integration in Europe. Born  and  grew  up   • Intercultural Synergy in Professional Team. in  Indonesia • Complex Problem Solving in Small Groups. • ... Evaluation  Studies    of  Cross-­‐Cultural  Training 13
  • 14. Three impositions of psychology andthe indigenous psychologies approach  First, researchers in the field of psychology imposed the natural science model to study human beings.  The second imposition is the assumption of the universality of psychological theories.  Third, expert or professional knowledge have imposed on the lay public.  The indigenous psychologies approach advocates liberation form these external impositions advocates the experience of phenomenon as an insider, for the first time.  The indigenous psychologies approach advocates a linkage of humanities (which focus on human experience ) with social sciences (which focus on analysis and verification).
  • 15. Thank  You Contact us via … Mail: Follow: twitter@htjitra Website: Summary presentation based on the paper“Indigenous, cultural, and cross-cultural psychology: A theoretical, conceptual, and epistemological analysis” ( Uichol Kim, 2000) and our group discussion. Zhejiang  University,  Hangzhou  (China)