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Introduction To Cultural Psychology Essay

1197 words - 5 pages

A Look into Cross-Cultural Psychology
Amy Stoffel
Psych 450/Diversity and Cultural Factors in Psychology
December 6, 2011
Cheri Meadowlark

A Look into Cross-Cultural Psychology
Culture is a significant factor for any psychologist to consider when interacting with a client. However, for those psychologists in the field of cross-cultural psychology understanding culture is essential. Understanding the basis of cultural psychology and cross-cultural psychology as well as the relationship between the two psychologies is necessary in this field. Additionally, key concepts such as multiculturalism, the methodology connected with the research, and the role of critical thinking are ...view middle of the document...

In fact, the basis of cultural psychology is that a person’s background is connected to the way he or she thinks as if mind and culture are inseparable. Cultural psychology also believes there are no universal laws for how the mind works. In contrast, cross-cultural psychology works to establish psychological universals [ (Matsumoto, 2000) ].
Culture refers to the characteristics of a group of people, including behaviors, attitudes, values, and customs transferred from one generation to the next. Among the planet Earth there are more cultures than one can count therefore, multiculturalism is an increasingly important and necessary movement. Multiculturalism is the acceptance and appreciation of many cultures and is meant to encourage equality for all cultural groups (Matsumoto, 2000). Cross-cultural psychology can use multiculturalism to strengthen psychology by providing evidence about behavior, motivation, and emotion of people who live in other national, ethnic, and cultural contexts (Levy & Shiraev, 2010).
The Quantitative and Qualitative Methods
In order to conduct research for cross-cultural psychology the kind of research or experimentation to perform, methods of research, and how to calculate such research must be chosen. Cross-cultural psychology uses both the quantitative and qualitative methods. The quantitative method is done through observations and is largely mathematical and statistics based. This research method, because it utilizes a comparative perspective, is employed in cross-cultural psychology for comparing and measuring human behavior among various cultures [ (Levy & Shiraev, 2010) ].
Despite the worth of the quantitative method, the qualitative method is also important to cross-cultural research and is used when research is difficult to measure. Qualitative research is performed in natural settings where the people studied carry out normal daily activities. In this type of research, psychologists try to detect some illicit or unspoken aspects of culture, hidden rules, or innuendo. When conducting research using the qualitative method psychologists utilize research procedures such as sample groups, observations, experimental studies, surveys, focus groups, psychobiography, content-analysis, and meta-analysis. Factors important for psychologists to remember when conducting research using any method or procedure is to make sure all information is translated accurately and as close to the original as possible as well as to try to avoid biases of generalizations [ (Levy & Shiraev, 2010) ].
Included as part of researching culture is analyzing the data and with this are two approaches: the absolutist approach and the relativist approach. Psychologists who support the absolutists approach, also known as the universalist approach, believe that psychological phenomena are essentially the same in all cultures. In other words, the norms and psychological processes of one...

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