Introduction to Cross-cultural Psychology Paper

Essay by jennlynn309College, UndergraduateB, September 2012

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Introduction to Cross-cultural Psychology Paper

As 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 & Martin-Santana (2008) proposed that advertising has a cyclical effect on culture-reinforcing certain cultural norms which in turn reinforce cultural characteristics-except that this cyclical action has no basis in race, religion, or society, but only in cultural background (i.e. Western, Eastern, African, etc…). It should be clear that culture is not so cut and dry; however, a comprehensive explanation of the psychological underpinnings of cultural comparison will be forthcoming in the course of an examination of the relationship between cultural and cross-cultural (CC) psychology, the role of critical thinking in CC psychology, and the methodology associated with CC psychology.

Relationships Between Cultural and CC Psychology

Shiraev & Levy (2010) characterize CC psychology as, "…the critical and comparative study of cultural effects on human psychology" (p. 2). However, as with most concise definition, this particular explanation of CC psychology is vague and non-specific. To the point, CC psychology is wholly concerned with the comparison of the psychological underpinnings of two or more cultures by means of critical evaluation. Points of comparison might include the connection between behavior and social norms, the interrelated effects of dissimilar socio-cultural forces, and how human activity is influenced by culture. On the other...