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Theoretical Foundations: Important Constructs and Definitions . THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTENTS OF CULTURE. Issues with Cross-Cultural Comparisons. No valid measure of culture Researchers have tended to use race or ethnicity instead.

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Theoretical Foundations: Important Constructs and Definitions


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    1. Theoretical Foundations: Important Constructs and Definitions

    2. THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTENTS OF CULTURE

    3. Issues with Cross-Cultural Comparisons • No valid measure of culture • Researchers have tended to use race or ethnicity instead. • This produces stereotypic beliefs and opinions (Zuckerman, 1990) • Are you really measuring differences in culture or some other demographic variable? • i.e. socioeconomic, education, social, etc. • Sampling Adequacy • Is sampling African Americans from Texas the same as sampling African Americans from Wisconsin? Can these results be generalized to all African Americans?

    4. Other Issues • Validity and Reliability of variables across cultures. • Different cultures can define and measure constructs differently (i.e. intelligence may not mean the same thing in another country as it does in the U.S.) • Language and Translation • Research environment, setting, and procedures • The U.S. uses Intro to Psych classes

    5. So how do we measure Culture? • Traditionally culture has been broken into subjective and objective elements (Triandis, 1972 & Kroeber & Kluckholn, 1952) • Subjective elements have been categorized into: • Domains: opinions, attitudes, values, behaviors, norms, etc. • Dimensions: Individualism, Collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity, etc. • The challenge is to identify dimensions for which the domains vary.

    6. Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions • Individualism, Collectivism • Power Distance • Uncertainty Avoidance • Masculinity, Femininity • Long, Short Term Orientation

    7. Dimensions • Individualism-Collectivism (IC) --(Hofstede,1980: Kluckholn & Strodtbeck, 1961: Mead, 1961: Triandis, 1972)-Best known --the degree to which a culture encourages, fosters, and facilitates the needs, wishes, desires, and values of the individual over those of a group --Members of individualistic cultures see themselves as separate and autonomous individuals, whereas members of collectivistic cultures see themselves as fundamentally connected to others.

    8. Dimensions (cont.) • Power Distance (PD) (Mulder, 1976, 1977;Hofstede, 1980, 1984) • Inequality in power between less-powerful individual and a more powerful individual. • PD has to do with the degree to which different cultures encourage and maintain power and status differences among the members of an organization.

    9. Dimensions (cont.) • Uncertainty Avoidance (UA) (Hofstede, 1980, 1984) • Degree to which cultures create institutions and rituals to deal with anxiety created by uncertainty.

    10. Dimensions (Cont.) • Masculinity(Hofstede, 1980, 1984) • Degree to which cultures foster traditional gender differences. • --the degree to which cultures foster traditional gender differences among their members, e.g. drawing organizational parallels between gender relations that are present in the larger society.

    11. Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Long, Short Term Orientation Degree to which cultures encourage delayed gratification of material, social, emotional needs

    12. HOW DOES CULTURE INFLUENCE HUMAN BEHAVIORS AND MENTAL PROCESSES?

    13. Figure 1.5: How Does Culture Affect Behavior? Ecological Factors Psychological Processes Attitudes Values Beliefs Opinions Worldviews Norms Behaviors Enculturation via Family Community Institutions Social Factors Culture Biological Factors

    14. Cultural influences on behavior and mental processes • This system is dynamic and interrelated • Although culture is an important factor influencing behavior so are other factors like personality, context • Depending on context, cultural influences on behavior may change

    15. Understanding culture in perspective: universals and culture-specifics • Universals: psychological processes that are found in all humans, but individual variability may be present.Ex) all humans make attributions about reasons underlying human behavior • Culture-specifics: some psychological processes may be present only in a particular culture or cultures due to non-universal, unique environments and genetics. • Ex) different cultures may differ in the way they make attributions

    16. Etics and Emics • Universals are Etics • Culture specifics are Emics

    17. On psychological knowledge and truths: A Recap • Is the knowledge we learn in psychology applicable to all or only to some people of some culture? • By asking this question, psychology can move toward producing accurate knowledge that applies to all humans or that is specific to some humans. • Psychology must incorporate the influence of culture to become a true science.