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Introduction To Cross Cultural Psychology Paper

1341 words - 6 pages

Introduction to Cross-cultural Psychology PaperAs personality is a relatively enduring set of personal traits and unique characteristics, so culture is a lasting set of attitudes, behaviors, and symbols held collectively by a particular subset of people that is usually imparted from one cohort to the next (Feist & Feist, 2006; Shiraevv& Levy, 2010). To be exact, culture is not a composition of people (society), a set of genetically transmitted attributes (race), or a common ancestral origin, language, tradition, or religion; but rather these are the subsidiary antecedents used to construct the enduring characteristics that make up a culture. Case in point, Beerli-Palacio & ...view middle of the document...

On the other hand, cultural psychology is completely consumed with the task of finding the link between people/populations and their culture and vice versa. So rather than critically evaluating comparisons between separate cultures, cultural psychology seeks to explain the psychological interplay that takes place between individuals/groups and their culture. The fundamental precept of cultural psychology is that human behavior does not exist in a bubble-that behavior can never be divorced from its socio-cultural groundwork. Cultural psychologists seek to counter the reductionist philosophy that human behavior can be explained through purely physiological, genetic, and biochemical means, in order to formulate a more synergistic approach (Berry, 2004). Even though these two psychological disciplines overlap considerably-since the interaction between individuals and their culture is paramount to an understanding of the comparison between multiple cultures-the distinction is substantial enough to warrant two different fields of science.The Role of Critical Thinking in CC PsychologyBy their very nature, words are both descriptive and evaluative; they simultaneously impart objective description and subjective evaluation (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Critical thinking-exhibited by metathinking, thoughts about thought-offers an intervening variable between the bidirectional influence of attitudes and language. By remembering that descriptions are in no way completely impartial, our personal values and biases influence our language, personal value judgments do not reflect objective truths, and recognizing other people's values through their language, critical thinking offers an antidote to the pitfalls of language. Other biasing and subjective phenomena that critical thinking helps to arrest are: differentiating between dichotomous variables and continuous variables, the similarity-uniqueness paradox, the Barnum Effect, assimilation, representative, and availability bias; fundamental attribution error, self-fulfilling prophecies, the difference between causation and correlation, bidirectional causation, multiple causation, naturalistic fallacy, and the belief perseverance effect. Even though this is not an exhaustive list, the list does cover a wide range of fallacies and biases that can be addressed through the use of critical thinking. In sum, critical thinking does not hold all of the answers, but critical thinking does offer a means by which to identify and discard the injudicious answers in the examination of a psychological comparison of cultures.Methodology Associated with CC PsychologyCC psychology follows a bedrock method of describing, explaining, and predicting: describe the major differences and similarities between the cultures, explain the underlying factors that affect the examined psychological phenomenon, and finally predict the factors that would bring about the optimal outcome (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Furthermore, there are two major...

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