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