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Cross Cultural Psychology: Introduction


Cross Cultural Psychology: Introduction Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos 14 May 2009 Course Outline Introduction Cross-Cultural research methods Culture and ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Cross Cultural Psychology: Introduction

Cross Cultural PsychologyIntroduction
  • Dr. K. A. Korb
  • University of Jos
  • 14 May 2009

Course Outline
  • Introduction
  • Cross-Cultural research methods
  • Culture and
  • Development
  • Cognition
  • Perception
  • Language
  • Social Interactions, Gender, and Emotions
  • Intercultural Relations

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
  • Psychology
  • Culture
  • Cross-Cultural Psychology

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
  • Psychology Scientific study of human behavior
    and mental functions
  • Scientific Study Systematic, objective methods
    of observing behavior and mental functioning
  • Behavior Activity that can be observed,
    recorded, and measured
  • Mental Functions Infer from observable behavior
  • Areas of Study Perception, Cognition,
    Development, Emotion, Personality, Motivation,
    Interpersonal relationships

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
  • Psychology Study of behavior and mental
  • Assumption People are similar across cultures
  • Hypothesize factors within cultures that
    influence mental processes
  • Anthropology Study of human beings in all places
    and at all times
  • Cultural Anthropology Systematic comparison of
    different cultures
  • Assumption People are different across cultures
  • Needs Assessment Studies that determine and
    address gaps between current conditions and
    desired conditions
  • Assess local opinions about development and aid

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
  • Purpose of Psychology Understand, explain,
    predict, and control behavior
  • Observe human behavior
  • Response time
  • Frequency of behaviors
  • Performance on cognitive tasks
  • Self-report on questionnaires
  • Develop hypothetical constructs that explain
    patterns of performance in human behavior

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
Research Studies
  • Psychological Construct Hypothetical concept
    created to explain common patterns of behavior
    across participants
  • Unobservable
  • Independent and dependent variables in
    psychological studies
  • Researcher has to develop ways of manipulating
    and measuring the variables
  • Participants Those who participate in the study
  • Population vs. Sample
  • In most psychological studies, participants are
    not variables in studies
  • In cross-cultural psychology studies, the culture
    of a participant may be an independent variable

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
Research Studies
  • When reporting the method of a research study,
    address three questions
  • What? What are the independent and dependent
    variables in the study?
  • These variables are not directly observable
  • How? How were the independent and dependent
    variables measured?
  • Since the key variables are not observable, how
    did the researcher measure or manipulate them?
  • Who? Who were the people that participated in the

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
  • Deterministic One variable completely determines
  • Guarantee
  • Probabilistic One variable increases the
    probability of another
  • Substantial number of variables that influence
    each outcome
  • Free will
  • Psychology is probabilistic

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
  • Culture Shared way of life of a group of people
  • Culture Shared patterns of behaviors and
    interactions, cognitive constructs, and affective
    understanding learned through the process of
  • Culture is NOT Artifacts, tools, or other
    tangible cultural elements
  • Culture IS How members of the cultural group
    interpret, use, and perceive the objects
  • Culture consists of Values, beliefs, attitudes,
    interpretations, and perspectives that
    distinguish one group of people from another

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
  • Culture is manifested by
  • Symbols Communication or object that carries a
    particular meaning within a group
  • Heros People who possess characteristics highly
    prized in a culture
  • Rituals Social activities that are socially
  • Values Preferences of a specific state of
    affairs to others (e.g., good-bad)

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
Characteristics of Culture
  • Culture is
  • An adaptive mechanism
  • Learned
  • Cultures change
  • Rate of cultural change differs by culture
  • Cultural diffusion Cultural practices pass to a
    different culture
  • People tend to be unaware of their cultural
  • Ethnocentrism Judging another culture in terms o
    ones own culture
  • Culture defines acceptable behavior patterns
  • Cultures do not currently exist in isolation

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
Dimensions of CultureHofstede Model (Hofstede,
  • Power Distance Extent to which less powerful
    members accept that power is unequally
  • Uncertainty Avoidance Tolerance for ambiguity
  • Individualism vs. Collectivism Degree to which
    people are integrated into groups
  • Masculinity vs. Femininity Distribution of
    values between the genders
  • Long-term vs. Short-term orientation Choice of
    focus for peoples efforts to the future,
    present, or past

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
Power Distance
  • Small Power Distance
  • Large Power Distance
  • Parents and children are equals
  • Older people not respected or feared
  • Student-centered education
  • Subordinates expect to be consulted
  • Parents teach children obedience
  • Older people are respected and feared
  • Teacher-centered education
  • Subordinates expect to be told what to do

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
Uncertainty Avoidance
  • Weak Uncertainty Avoidance
  • Strong Uncertainty Avoidance
  • Uncertainty in life is accepted
  • Lower stress
  • Higher scores on well-being
  • Comfortable with ambiguity and chaos
  • Uncertainty is felt as a threat to be fought
  • High stress
  • Lower scores on well-being
  • Need for clarity and structure

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
Individualism and Collectivism
  • Individualism
  • Collectivism
  • Everyone is expected to only take care of
    themselves and immediate family
  • Right of privacy
  • Speaking ones mind is healthy
  • Others classified as individuals
  • Purpose of education is to learn how to learn
  • Task prevails over relationship
  • Everyone is expected to protect extended families
  • Stress on belonging
  • Harmony is always maintained
  • Others classified as in-group or out-group
  • Purpose of education is learning how to do
  • Relationship prevails over task

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
Feminine and Masculine
  • Femininity
  • Masculinity
  • Minimum emotional and social role differentiation
    between genders
  • Men and women should be modest and caring
  • Balance between family and work
  • Sympathy for the weak
  • Both mothers and fathers deal with facts and
  • Both boys and girls may cry but neither should
  • Mothers decide on family size
  • Maximum emotional and social role differentiation
    between genders
  • Men should be assertive and ambitious
  • Work prevails over family
  • Admiration for the strong
  • Fathers deal with facts, mothers deal with
  • Girls cry, boys fight back
  • Fathers decide on family size

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
Short and Long-Term Orientation
  • Short-Term Orientation
  • Long-Term Orientation
  • Most important events in life occurred in past or
    take place now
  • Immediate need gratification expected
  • Children should learn tolerance and respect
  • Social spending and consumption
  • Stres on short-term profits
  • Most important events in life will occur in the
  • Need gratification deferred until later
  • Children should learn to be thrifty
  • Saving, investing
  • Stress on future market position

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • Cross-Cultural Psychology Systematic comparison
    of psychological variables under different
    cultural conditions in order to
  • Identify universal aspects of human thought and
  • Identify how culture influences human thought and
  • Key Question How does culture influence human
    behavior and mental processes?

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
Cross-Cultural Psychology (Berry, Poortinga,
Segall, Dasen, 2002)
  • Cross-cultural psychology is the study of
  • Similarities and differences in individual
    psychological functioning in various cultural and
    ethnocultural groups
  • The relationships between psychological variables
    and socio-cultural, ecological, and biological
  • The ongoing changes in psychological,
    socio-cultural, ecological, and biological

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
Goals of Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • Test the generality of psychological knowledge
    and theories
  • Discover cultural and psychological variations in
    non-Western cultures
  • Integrate results of general and specific
    psychological findings to a universal psychology
    that is valid for a broad range of cultures

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
Perspectives in Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • Absolutism All psychological variables are the
    same in all cultures
  • Assess constructs using the same methods and
    instruments across cultures
  • Relativism All psychological constructs are
    culturally influenced
  • No comparisons can be made between cultures
  • Universalism All psychological variables are
    common between cultures but culture influences
    the development and manifestation of
    psychological characteristics
  • Comparisons can be made cautiously, but with
    modifications to methods and instruments to make
    them culturally meaningful.

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
Perspectives in Cross-Cultural Psychology (Berry
et al., 2002)
Absolutist Universalist Relativist
Context-free definition of concepts Almost always Difficult to achieve Usually impossible
Context-free measurement of constructs Usually possible Often impossible Impossible
Assessment of constructs Standardized instruments Adapted instruments Local instruments
Comparisons between culture Straight-forward, Evaluative Controlled, Non-evaluative Usually avoided, Non-evaluative
Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
Ecological Context
Ecological Influences
Genetic Transmission
Observable Behaviors And Psychological Constructs
Biological Adaptation And Cultural Adaptation
Cultural Transmission
Socio-Political Context
Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
Contributions of Cross-Cultural Research to
  • Knowledge Findings of similarities and
    differences of behavior and mental functioning
    have added to the body of psychological knowledge
  • Critical Thinking Psychological findings are now
    analyzed to determine whether similar results
    will be found in different cultures

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • Because of cross-cultural research, the following
    assumptions now must be made
  • All behavior is learned and occurs in a cultural
  • Culture must be accounted for in psychological
  • More understanding of cultural influences on
    behavior is necessary, which may change the way
    behavior is studied

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • Modern Psychology
  • Cultural-Historical Psychology
  • Mental processes and behavior are independent
    from the context
  • Purpose of psychology is to isolate mental
    processes from the context through controlled
  • Context influences mental processes and behavior
  • Purpose of psychology is to understand how the
    mind and culture mutually influence each other

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
Progression of Cross-Cultural Research
  • Beginning Document differences between cultures
  • Currently Determine the cultural variables that
    produce the differences
  • Culture is replaced with specific, measurable
    psychological variables hypothesized to account
    for cultural differences
  • Future Universal theories of psychological

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
Psychology in Nigeria
  • What psychological variables are not relevant to
    the Nigerian context?
  • What psychological variables should be studied
    that are unique to the Nigerian context?
  • What are practical problems in Nigerian society
    that culturally-relevant psychological research
    can address?

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos
  • What is psychology?
  • What is culture? What are the five key ways that
    cultures can vary?
  • What is the purpose of cross-cultural research?
  • What are the different perspectives that are
    taken in cross-cultural psychology?
  • What contributions have cross-cultural research
    made to the field of psychology?

Dr. K. A. Korb University of Jos