Introduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology
April 20, 2015
Introduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology
Cross-cultural psychology is the psychological practice that focuses on the study of the cultural effects on human psychology. It requires researchers to draw conclusions by using samples from multiple cultures (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Human behavior shares similarities in basic terms of listening to others, sharing feelings, and behavioral traits, although the differences of human behavior, vary greatly. People develop individually based on factors such as learning, environmental influences, familial influences, religious beliefs, and societal allegiances (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Cross-cultural psychologists examine the psychological differences and make comparisons of the underlying causes of these differences. Researchers focus on examining the various links between cultural norms and behaviors by comparing the possible dissimilar social and cultural forces that influence people within various cultures (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). According to Shiraev & Levy (2010), cross-cultural psychology is considered both the critical and comparative study of cultural effects on human psychology. Human behavior is heavily influenced by the various biological factors as well as the personal experiences. Culture is one of the most important factors that influence an individual’s behavior through culture-specific attributes that are shared by people of a culture in a particular geographic region (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Overview of the Case Study
Pacific Islands Families Study: The Association of Infant Health Risk Indicators and Acculturation of Pacific Island Mothers Living in New Zealand is a case study about Pacific Islands Families, which follows a cohort of 1,398 Pacific infants born in Auckland, New Zealand. This article examines associations between maternal acculturation, measured by an abbreviated version of the General Ethnicity Questionnaire, and selected infant and maternal health risk indicators. Findings reveal that those with strong alignment to Pacific culture had significantly better infant and maternal risk factor outcomes than those with weak cultural alignment. In terms of Berry’s classical acculturation model, separators had the best infant and maternal outcomes; integrators had reasonable infant and maternal outcomes, while assimilators and marginalisors appeared to have the poorest infant and maternal outcomes. These findings suggest that retaining strong cultural links for Pacific immigrants is likely to have positive health benefits. Definition of Cultural and Cross-Cultural Psychology
The genetic makeup of all individuals, provide a partial explanation as well as a description of human behavior. Although human behavior has been strongly affected by biological factors, all human behavior can be affected by individual experiences. During an individual’s lifetime of experiences, cultural influence is regarded as the primary factor that shapes diversity in behavior. According to Shiraev and Levy (2010), culture is a combination of various behaviors, symbols, and attitudes shared by large groups of people. These factors are communicated from generation to generation, vary depending on geographical location, and influence individual behavior across different regions. The primary focus of cultural psychology is to discover the most important connections between culture and the psychological state of individuals who are living in a particular geographic region (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Cultural psychologists study specific behaviors and the cultural environment in which the behavior is displayed (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). In contrast to cross-cultural psychology, cultural psychology studies the interaction of behaviors, and the specific cultural influences that drive those behaviors. Cross-cultural psychology focuses on the psychological differences of...
References: Matsumoto, D., & Juang, L. (2013). Culture and psychology (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Shiraev, E. B. & Levy, D. A. (2010). Cross-cultural psychology: Critical thinking and contemporary applications (4th ed.). Boston: Pearson/Allyn Bacon.
Singelis, T.M. (2000). Some Thoughts on the Future of Cross-Cultural Social Psychology. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 31(1), 76-91. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/002202210031001007
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