Introduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology

Topics: Culture, Sociology, Anthropology Pages: 5 (1148 words) Published: October 4, 2014

Introduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology
Zenna Beasley
PSY/450 Diversity and Cultural Factors in Psychology
September 15, 2014
Robert Keele
Introduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology
Culture is the structure of one’s way of life and behavior, meaning one’s beliefs, values, traditions, and behaviors (Matsumoto & Juang, 2013). As there are many cultures throughout the world and each one is unique in their ways of living and understanding, it is important to conduct research to learn and understand these various cultures. Cross-cultural psychology is a subfield in psychology where similarities and differences between cultures are studied to accomplish a better understanding of various cultures, as well as the people within those cultures. The purpose of this paper is to provide a definition and an example of cultural and cross-cultural psychology utilizing a case study, to analyze the relationship between cultural and cross-cultural psychology. The paper will discuss the methodology associated with cross-cultural research; discuss how the case study helps to better understand how ethnicity, race, and worldviews are separate yet related concepts as well as to discuss how enculturation may play a role in the case study. The chosen study of this paper is: SELF-EXPRESSION THROUGH RHYTHM AND MELODY. Overview of the case study

Music has a way of moving people. Every culture has its own sounds. Music and dance express emotion, pass on knowledge, and present moral values and sexual identity. The Masai Tribe sings together where each member has their place and voice. The tribe’s music tells stories of the tribes past as well as their present (Films on Demand, 2004). Music keeps their memories and the visions they have of the world. Music has a spiritual influence on the tribe and brings them closer to those they have loved and lost as well as those present. Fisherman from the Coast of Mauritania use music to keep in rhythm in order to work as a team and get the job done. Another culture uses music and dance as a mating ritual. This study proves that music is extremely important to every culture and is used in various ways. Music is universal to the world. Relationship between Cultural and Cross-cultural Psychology

Cultural psychology focuses on the links between the psychology of a person living within a culture and the culture itself, whereas, cross-cultural psychology seeks to understand and look at psychological diversity and the reasons for diversity among people and cultures (Matsumoto & Juang, 2013). Music from various cultures has many different meanings which show the cross-cultural diversity of the meanings behind each cultures music and rhythms. While music is the universal link between cultures, its meanings, importance, and styles are extremely different. Cross-cultural psychology focuses on the similarities as well as differences that music has on many cultures. Music, like cross-cultural psychology, is not culture-specific, it is universal as it seeks to understand as well as learn the limitations of each culture. American music, although extremely different in its form from the Masai Tribe music, it is similar in its way of affecting people. Methodology Associated with Cross-cultural Research

Cross-cultural research tests the cultural parameters of psychological knowledge. It involves research on human behavior that compares psychological processes between two or more cultures (Karasz & Singelis, 2009). Cultural psychologists have their own vocabulary for talking about universal and culture-specific psychological processes such as etics and emics. Etics are processes that are universal with different cultures; whereas, emics are processes that are different across cultures or culture-specific processes (Matsumoto & Juang, 2013). Cultural research in the United States is emic; however, emic studies are cross-cultural when they take into account other cultures. Researchers must...

References: Films on Demand. (2004). Self-Expression Through Rhythm and Melody. Retrieved from
Karasz, Alison & Singelis, Theodore M. (2009). Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research in Cross-cultural Psychology: Introduction to the Special Issue. Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology, 40(6), 909–916.
Matsumoto, David & Juang, Linda. (2013). Culture and Psychology, (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
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