Intoduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology and Intercultural Contact


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-Review of Cross-Cultural Psychology Intro (Lesson 1)
-Introduction to text by Ward, Bochner and Furnham, The Psychology of Culture Shock (Lesson 2)

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Intoduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology and Intercultural Contact

  1. 1. Introduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology and Intercultural Contact
  2. 2. Cross-Cultural Psychology• Cross-cultural psychology generally operationalizes culture as an antecedent variable that lies outside of and apart from the individual.• Deeply rooted in Western traditions of thinking, ethnocentric Euro-American approaches have shaped the landscape of cross- cultural research.
  3. 3. Cultural Psychology• Cultural psychology sees culture as inside the individual as a way of knowing and construing the world and other people.
  4. 4. Culture• Culture has been defined by shared knowledge and meaning that is derived through processes of interaction and communication.• Culture has been defined as the man-made part of the environment that consists of both subjective and objective elements and resides in the mind of individuals as well as in their environmental context.
  5. 5. Indigenous psychology• Indigenous psychology understands culture as subjectively created systems of meaning but goes one step further by taking informal folk theories of psychological functioning formalizing them into psychological theories.
  6. 6. Conclusions• Cross-cultural psychology is an inclusive position that comprises cultural and comparative approaches. –Berry’s notion• The integration of findings from non- Western societies presented by indigenous psychology needs to be emphasized in cross-cultural psychology.
  7. 7. Etic• A descriptive system which is equally valid for all cultures, representing similarities and differences between individual cultures• Examines susceptibility to cultural influences in individual actions and thinking• Culture-general construct
  8. 8. Imposed Etic• A naïve application of Euro-American theories and instruments to research conducted in other settings is one of the main methodological weaknesses in the history of cross-cultural psychology.
  9. 9. Emic• The emic approach defines ‘culture’ not as an external factor but rather as an integral part of human behavior.• Not only research subjects are culture- dependent (whole system of psychological thought and its underlying assumptions)• culture-specific construct
  10. 10. Etic & Emic• If emic approaches produce instruments that satisfy the derived etic criteria, comparative examination in various cultures could demonstrate differences or similarities in psychological functioning--towards universalism.
  11. 11. Berry’s Ecocultural ModelThe model represents a conceptualframework in which there are three typesof variables: (1) contextual variables thatinclude ecological and sociopoliticalvariables, (2) process variables that includebiological and cultural adaptation andtransmission to individuals and (3)psychological outcomes.
  12. 12. Ecocultural Model cont.• The model is a symbiosis of cultural and comparative aspects of the field, allowing for cultural and ecological explorations of human behavior within and across settings and resembling the original notion of etic and emic as complementary rather than conflicting ways of achieving an understanding.• Tries to consider situational factors
  13. 13. Problems w/Berry’s Model• Methodological problems and the view of culture as a nation-bound and stable characteristic have restricted its use.
  14. 14. Individualism and Collectivism• Relationships between the individual and the group• Concerns the freedom of a person versus the restrictions placed on an individual to achieve common goals-European and North American countries: high on individualism-Asian and Latin American countries: high on collectivism
  15. 15. How the I-C manifests itself:• At the personal level (identity)• At the interpersonal or relational level (preferred interactions and regulation of social relationships)• A the societal or institutional level (association between the individual and the groups to which they belong)
  16. 16. Personal correlates of I-CDefines self-concept: Interdependent or Independent selves• In terms of internal characteristics or traits that make us unique from others• In terms of our affiliation with other people
  17. 17. Interpersonal correlates of I-C• Do the interests of the group take precedence over the needs of individual members (cooperative relationships and tight social networks)?• Are people more loosely tied to other people and groups and focused on their own interests (competition rather than cooperation, direct communication style, superficial relationships)?
  18. 18. Social correlates of I-C• Self-worth is evaluated in terms of being accepted and valued by ones in-groups (law- abiding, family relationships, religious beliefs, loyalty to institutions and authority, considerate of others)• Self-worth is evaluated by independence & uniqueness (self-esteem based on individual talent, achievement & recognition)
  19. 19. Antecedents of I-C• Distinction between hunter-gathering and agricultural societies, contemporary view contrasts urban and rural settlements• Link between individualism and wealth (significant link between a country’s rank on I-C and its average national income)
  20. 20. Consequences of contact re: I-C• Differing morals, social attitudes and behavioral orientations• Differing cognitive and communication styles• Barriers to effective interpersonal communication and achieving mutual goals
  21. 21. Other ways to classify countries in terms of bipolar dimensions (Hofstede, 1983)• Power Distance• Uncertainty Avoidance• Masculinity-FemininityCultural dichotomies have to be put to the test before using them as a basis for experimental treatment
  22. 22. Challenges to Trait Approaches/Cultural Dichotomies• Notion of ethnocentrism in methodology and theory• Tendency to use one’s own standard as the standard when viewing other groups• “What is taken for granted, purposely discounted, or inadvertently ignored in the social behavior of one’s own culture may be focal and objectified in another.”
  23. 23. Challenges to Trait Approaches• Emphasis is placed on differences between societies, portraying cultural communities as holding mutually exclusive, stable, and uniform views rather than regarding variation and change among individuals within each group and similarities across groups.
  24. 24. Challenges to Trait Approaches• Inability to capture when it is that culture has a strong influence on an individual.• Sometimes individuals act in culturally typical manners and sometimes not, yet a trait model, much like a stereotype, implies a pervasive, continual influence on culture.
  25. 25. Challenges to Trait Approaches• Do not take into account the situational specificity of norms and values• Cannot meet the challenges of globalization and are insensitive to any interconnectedness and interaction• Neglect the concept of cultural complexity
  26. 26. Contemporary Research(1) What is psychological, what iscultural?(2) What is universal, what is culture-specific?(3) What is specific to one case, whatis a general pattern?
  27. 27. Cultural Variables and Behavior• According to Triandis, culture enters those situations where interpersonal relationships are not constrained by technology or other contingent factors. Culture’s influence on behavior is mediated by values and beliefs on the internal side and ecological, social, and political indicators on the external side. These constraints have to be distinguished between.
  28. 28. Groups In Intercultural Contact• Tourists: visitors whose length of stay exceeds 24 hours in a location away from home and whose main incentive for travel is other than financial (largest group of cross-cultural travelers).• Sojourners: temporary resident who voluntarily goes abroad for a set period of time usually associated with a specific assignment or contract.
  29. 29. Groups In Intercultural Contact (cont.)• International Students: In major receiving countries have become part of the export industry (at least 10% of student population on many campuses throughout the world).• International Business People• Immigrants: migrants include those who voluntarily relocate for long term resettlement.• Refugees