Cultural and Cross-Cultural Psychology
Cultural psychology is a branch of psychology which makes the assumption that the mind and culture cannot be separated. It deals with the study and the influence of tradition, social practices and culture on the psyche for the unity of mankind. Cultural psychology rages over the definition of culture, the cultural factors central to cultural systems and physical phenomena, the origins and nature of agency, the relation between psychological factors and cultural factors, the origins and nature of psychology, how information such as narratives should be interpreted for the understanding of the cultural organization of psychology and whether psychological and cultural phenomena can be explained objectively, Ratner (2006). Bruner (1990) therefore indicates that cultural psychology is concerned with the meaning circulation and the meaning exchange processes which provide for the human experience and behavior.
Cross-cultural psychology studies the human mental process and behavior which includes their invariance and variability when exposed to different cultural conditions. It recognizes the cultural variance in behavior, meaning and language. It is therefore simply concerned with differences in culture. Therefore it is extremely significant that we understand the cultural variable which cuts across most societies. Cross-cultural pathologists are of the assumption that psychological and cultural universals exist and their existence should unite people in different societies and ensure cross-cultural understanding.
Relationship between Cultural and Cross-Cultural Psychology
From their definitions, both cultural and cross-cultural psychology study the effects culture has on the human being’s psychological process. However, while cultural psychology puts its focus on the cultural influence on people specific to a region, cross-cultural psychology is much
References: Bruner, J. (1990) Acts of Meaning. New York: Harvard University Press. Ratner, C. (2008) Cultural Psychology, Cross-Cultural Psychology, and Indigenous Psychology. New York: Nova Publishers. Shiraev, E. B & Levy, D. A. (2010) Cross-Cultural Psychology: Critical Thinking and Contemporary Applications. Boston: Pearson.