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∙ How it affects research?




∙ What is the evidence?




What is Cultural Psychology?



Culture & Society: Monday, 1/9/17— (Barnel) What is culture? ∙ Dynamic shared information affects the mind ∙ Tendencies and patterns of behavior. ∙ A way of life ∙ A group ∙ Transient and long lasting Visible culture: the known, objective elements that you adhere to or prefer. Invisible culture: assumptions, automatic allegiances, and worldviews.  What is Cultural Psychology? ∙ PIf you want to learn more check out acct 284 iowa state
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atterns of behavior: o Don’t spend your time identifying the exceptions.  Three aims of class: ∙ Goal 1: o Eliminate cultural blindness o Increase cultural awareness ∙ Goal 2: o Diminish all or nothing thinking o Foster nuanced thinking and the gray area ∙ Goal 3: o Stoke curiosity  Asking questions about society and culture.  Book: Heine, S. (2015) Cultural Psychology (3rd ed.)W.W.Norton & Company  978-0-393-26398-5 ∙ Look at bolded/ excerpts  MAX 3 prp = 3% of grade What is Culture Psychology: WED 1/11/17 Goals for today: ∙ Define culture and the challenges of definition ∙ Cultural psych vs. Traditional psych ∙ Culture and the mind ∙ Psychology is WEIRD Questions: ∙ Are we cultural animals? ∙ What is the evidence? ∙ What is WEIRD?  ∙ How it affects research? ∙ Universality? ∙ Is culture ours?What is culture? ∙ Dynamic shared information affects the mind. ∙ Tendencies and patterns of behavior ∙ A way of life ∙ A group ∙ Transient and long lasting Evolution of Culture: ∙ Evolution builds on what is already there. o Eg: Human Vocal Cords  Polyglots are familiar with over 1 million words  Speech and Vocal cords came at the same time ∙ Improves on the physical and social: o Eg: food.  What is culture? ∙ Textbook definition:  o Information: acquired from other members of a species. o A group of people who have a shared context.  The story of Imo: ∙ Is culture ours? (human) ∙ 100th monkey effect Challenges to Defining “Culture”: ∙ Variety ∙ Fuzzy boundaries – are not distinct and often unclear ∙ Ever changing and dynamic ∙ Who owns – requires consensus  Traditional Psychology: ∙ Pale blue dot (video clip) ∙ Focuses on universal commonality  ∙ Less focus on context ie: mind is independent from the context ∙ Based on the human brain = CPU cognitive model  Cultural Psychology: ∙ Embraces variety ∙ Mind shapes context and vice versa  ∙ We are cultural animals ∙ Different meaning systems we create in our minds from different  environments Universality Vs Variability: How do we know ∙ Level of analysis o Depends on the level of definition o Broad or abstract definition typically supports universality  Eg: marriage = two people falling in love and agreeing to  monogamous life together o Specific definition generally supports variability Eg: Marriage = formal arrangement between man and  woman Culturally Universal VS. Culturally Variable:  Universal:  ∙ Number “2” ∙ Color “Black” ∙ Smiling when happy Variable ∙ Numbers beyond “3” ∙ Color “blue” ∙ Biting tongue when embarrassed  Psychology is WEIRD: W: Western E: Educated I: Industrialized R: Rich D: Democratic  ∙ 96% of psychology participants are from Western, industrialized  countries.  ∙ 70% of participants are psychology undergraduates Take Away: ∙ Culture is difficult to define ∙ Cultural psychology VS traditions psychology: Differ in focus and  worldview ∙ Psychological processes have different degrees of universality ∙ Most of current psychology is WEIRD ∙ Cultural psych is important and represents a growing perspective.  What is cultural Psychology? Questions to answer: ∙ Difference between universality and culture bound phenomena? ∙ What are the pros and cons of colorblind? Colorbrave/multicultural? Degrees of Universality: ∙ Nonuniversal or cultural invention thinking: o Not found universally  o Ex: The (old) Greek concept of sexual orientation (giver and  receiver)  ∙ Existential universal: o Universal thinking tools but serves different functions. ∙ Functional Universal: o Universal thinking tool found with same functions but to ______  degrees. ∙ Accessibility universal:o Universal took with universal use. Intersectionality: Is interaction of multiple cultural elements in one person o E.g. Ethnicity and social class; ethnicity and religion; sexual orientation nd religion ∙ Salience is important! ∙ Compound effects often with oppression The intersections of culture, universality, and individuality.  ∙ Figure 2.2  Culture-centrism: the tendency to judge people of other cultures (often as  inferior) by the standards of one’s own group.  ∙ We are all somewhat culture-centric. ∙ Goal: cultural de-centeredness ∙ Recognize our own culture-centrism o Our culture is not the gold standard of comparison.  Human Nature: Is culture unique to Humans? ∙ ______ ∙ Unless culture is narrowly defined as: Culture=“Having symbolic  meaning” ∙ Broadly defined o Culture = “learning through social transmission” o When broadly (and correctly defined) it is more widespread.  Cultural Learning in Other Species ∙ Evidence mounts that other species have culture AND the basic tools  of culture (communication, ability to learn, and social nature) ∙ Textbook examples: o Elephants developed a culture of aggression over generations in  response to hunting. o Killer whales in different regions speak different dialects.  Human Cultural Learning ∙ Cultural learning is not unique to humans but ____ learning appears to  be.  ∙ Two key characteristics of human cultural learning that make it unique: o Speed o Use of “___” cues  Human Cultural Learning: Speed ∙ We are typically faster at learning than other animals o Animal cultural learning is typically slow an inefficient  o Human culture learning can happen in an instant  Social Status Rules (prestige) ∙ Status affects our ______ o Barak Obama o We are attuned to cues that signal prestige Cues are subtle but powerful and partially cultural  o A general learning mechanism engages us to ____ the prestigious model does.  Human Cultural Learning ∙ Humans have two distinct cognitive advantages: o Two key cognitive abilities:  Theory of Mind (ToM)  Advances communication: Language ∙ We think Human Cultural Learning: ToM ∙ Theory of Mind (ToM) = understand that others have minds, intentions  and perspectives different from one’s own ∙ Mostly exclusive to humans ∙ Inferring the ___ of others based on body language, history and culture. ∙ Important for imitation vs. emulation  Advantage of ToM- Imitation vs. Emulation: Imitative Learning: (Human) ∙ Watches thinking ∙ Internalized models goals and behavioral strategies ∙ Learners over-imitate models ∙ Focus on fulfilling goal of the model ∙ ToM needed ∙ Less efficient: leads to one copy extra and irrelevant behaviors ∙ But allos for faithful and high fidelity reproduction of target behavior ∙ Cumulative thus can allow cultural learning  Emulative Learning ∙ Watches object ∙ Try to figure out how an object effects environment ∙ Focus on use object to change the environment ∙ ToM not needed ∙ Quicker ∙ More efficient: learner can directly figure out effective ways to use a  tool  ∙ Noncumulative  Language Facilitates Cultural Learning: ∙ Language usually facilitates clear communication o Especially complicated ideas ∙ Human language is distinctive by having a complex grammar and  syntac ∙ Also a rich vocabulary ∙ It is necessary for successful and precise transmission of cultural ideas. What is cumulative culture? ∙ The ratchet effecto Over time, other people gradually make ____ and ____ to some  original tools/ideas ∙ The big difference between human and other animal cultures  ∙ Based on reliable and accurate ____ transmission of information ∙ Based on imitative learning and advances language ∙ Emulative learning does not work for ___ across generations  Social Brain Hypothesis: ∙ Magic number 150 people ∙ Complexity of primates’ social worlds led to a need for successful  navigation of complex relationships. ∙ More socially adept primates attracted more mates, accrued more  recourses, and protected offspring better.  Social Living Shaped Us: ∙ Humans o Live in ___ groups than other primates o Appear more interested in each others’ activities than do other  primates o Engage in more cultural learning than do other primates ∙ Human brains may thus have developed greater social learning and ___ abilities than other ape species. ∙ Humans are distinctive in that they engage in so much ___ learning ∙ Being able to learn skills from observing others is a key reason behind  the evolution of our big brains.  Take away: ∙ Culture learning is our thing: o Culture learning is unique to humans cultural is not o Social learning and cultural transmission are also our forte.  ∙ Cumulative cultural learning is facilitated, and allowed for, by theory of mind, language and imitative learning. ∙ Culture and social forces contributed to the evolution of the human  brain Research: Culture of honor ∙ Why is the south more violent than the north? Specifically, white  males? o Higher inequality  o Higher poverty o Legacy of slavery – more aggressive? o Temperature  ∙ Nisbett and Cohen’s investigation demonstrates the use of multiple  methods of unpackage a cultural phenomenon.  The south∙ White males and institutions more aggressive ∙ Culture-of-honor reflected in the laws and social policies ∙ More argument related murders ∙ Less so in cities ∙ Looser gun control laws ∙ More permissive self defense laws ∙ More support for police violence  ∙ Corporal punishment ∙ Hitting a drunk person who bumps you  ∙ More access to guns ∙ Guns believed to makes us safer (not true) ∙ More aggressive foreign policy issues ∙ GL, SC, LA, MI, WV, TN, KY, FL Southern Honor (Nisbett and Cohen) ∙ Cattle herding more prevalent in the south (west and rural areas as  well) ∙ Theft is a bigger problem with herding ∙ Reputation (aggression) used to protect assets.  ∙ North settled by farmers ∙ Multiple Methods to answer the question: o Actuarial data o Surveys o Biological measures o Behavioral measures o Field data Issues with comparing cultures ∙ Seek first to understand. ∙ Researchers must learn the norms, practices and psychological life of  both the cultures being studied.  o If not, researchers risk drawing conclusions based on faulty  information and assumptions.  ∙ Such understanding can be accomplished through ethnographies, local collaborators, and perhaps cultural immersion.  o Combination of these methods is ideal  Best practices: ∙ Awareness ∙ Value ∙ Think about double think ∙ Use local research associate ∙ Culturally appropriate methods ∙ Watch for language especially metaphors, concepts, content,  o Back translate Issues with Comparing Cultures:∙ Do the methods work the same in both populations? o Strive for identical understanding o Psychological surveys are not universal  ∙ Researchers may need to use slightly different methods with different  cultures (especially drastically different ones) ∙ What is the easy answer? o Don’t study it just use WEIRD populations ∙ Generalize into other populations ∙ Difficulty recruiting and attaining statistical power.  Issues with Cross-Cultural Surveys: Translations ∙ Translation of materials o Words do not translate o Feeling blue? Issues with Cross-Cultural Surveys- Reference group: ∙ Reference group effect: depending on who you compare to your  answer may differ.  o Eg- community social status ∙ Reference group is not stable o Eg- immigrants  Issues with Cross-Cultural Surveys- Translations ∙ ___ is recommended  ∙ A panel of bilingual individuals can determine authenticity of translated materials  Response Bias in Surveys: ∙ Psychological surveys typically use number scales Issues WITH Cross-Cultural Surveys- Response Biases ∙ To control for this, use objective and concrete measures, which can be  achieved by: o Providing specific scenarios as questions o Soliciting quantitative responses (eg. Frequencies of specific  behavior) o Using behavioral and psychological measures ∙ Deprivation effects: o People valuing the exotic o Tendency for cultures to value what they like not what they have ∙ No clear solution for this bias, except to interpret results with caution.  Issues with Cross-Cultural Experiments:  ∙ Culture cannot be manipulated as an independent variable o Culture =/= independent  o But other variables can be manipulated in cross-cultural studies ∙ Two types of possible manipulations: o Between-groups manipulations o Within-groups manipulations Between-groups manipulation:∙ Participants are randomly assigned to one of the conditions of the  independent variable. o Ensure that participants are statistically equivalent at the  beginning of study  o We can attribute any differences in dependent variables between groups to differences in independent variable.  Within-group manipulation: ∙ Participants go through all conditions of IV. ∙ No random assignment is necessary for conditions (although  researchers may ransomly assign the order in which one goes through  the conditions) o Some participants go through condition A and then B, while  others go through condition B and then A.  Cultural Priming: ∙ Inducing cultural ways of thinking in participants do not belong to the  other cultural group o Based on the presumption that some ways of thinking may be  different between cultures A and B but culture A’s way of  thinking is still being present in culture B Community partnership: ∙ Meet with local constituents and leaders- first step aligns and informs  approach. ∙ Community advisory boards- Member provide guidance of local  psychological terrain. ∙ Community based participatory research- collaborative approach Theoretical Equivalence: ∙ Is the measure culturally appropriate for the specific community? ∙ Is the method appropriate for the population? ∙ Does the theory reflect the community? ∙ Consultation with local mental health practitioners and focus groups. Measure Selection: ∙ Sensitivity, reliability, and validity of the item ∙ Demographic factors may affect  Measure Admin: ∙ Procedure ∙ Timing of data collection needs to be equivalent  ∙ Rapport levels can skew results ∙ Comfort level of participants with examiner affects pace of which the  participant complete assessment (Anatasi, 1988) Community Discourse: ∙ Embed within the community  ∙ Giving back to the community—symbiotic relationship is imperative ∙ Connect with community members as partners not subjects∙ Analysis and interpretation- with the aid of the community members ∙ Creations and implementation of program  Unpackaging culture: ∙ Cultural difference are embedded within complex networks of cultural  practices and symbols. ∙ Unpackaging= Identifying underlying variables that create cultural  differences ∙ To understand we need to unpackage culture  3 Steps to unpackaging: ∙ 1) Hypothesize variables that can explain cultural difference ∙ 2) Confirm cultural difference in the proposed underlying variable ∙ 3) Demonstrate relationship between variable and cultural difference  More is better: Using Multiple Methods: ∙ No single study design is perfect, due to alternative explanations and  methodological flaws.  ∙ Best way to counter such problems is to use multiple methods.  ∙ Using multiple methods to replicate findings while disproving  alternative accounts = very compelling evidence

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