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Psychology Essay

1542 words - 7 pages

Introduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology
University of Phoenix
Introduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology
Culture plays an important part in one’s life as it relates to the field of psychology. Culture enables one to define him or herself and differ from one to another, and helps one survive. Culture facilitates self-expression, through language, appearance, and behavior. Culture exists everywhere and is a product of one’s environment. The significance of culture and its influence by oneself and others will be explained in this paper. In addition, the role of critical thinking in cross-cultural psychology and the scientific method involved with cross-cultural research will be ...view middle of the document...

Culture should be not confused with society, race, and ethnicity. Though these factors contribute to individualism, they differ from culture itself. For example, culture is a shared experience within a group and leads to specific behaviors among the group, whereas society is made of people. Cross-cultural psychology uses various approaches to facilitate one’s understanding of how human behavior varies in diverse cultural settings. These include evolutionary, sociological, and ecocultural. The evolutionary approach, for instance, considers biological factors contributing to one’s behavior whereas the ecocultural approach considers that a person cannot be acknowledged without considering one’s environment (Shiraev & Levy, 2010).
The Relationship between Cultural and Cross-Cultural Psychology
Cultural psychology interfaces with other disciplines, including philosophy, and anthropology. While other disciplines permit a wider perspective, cultural psychology focuses solely on how one’s culture affects his or her behavior and how this connection comes into existence. G Cultural psychology is aware that human energy cannot be solely explicated by other factors including one’s genetic predispositions. Instead, cultural psychology sees one’s mind and culture forming a unity that should be not separated when trying to explain behavior. On the other hand, cross-cultural psychology, despite interfacing with other fields such as anthropology and history, prefers to compare various cultures against each other while discovering more about differences and similarities and their effect on humanity. Both disciplines clearly consider the aspects of culture; therefore, their starting points do not differ much. However, they also deviate from each other in that cultural psychology is mostly concerned with understanding the relationship one has with a culture, whereas cross-cultural psychology is mainly interested in the comparison of various cultures (Shiraev & Levy, 2010).
The Role of Critical Thinking in Cross-Cultural Psychology
When used correctly, critical thinking can, and will benefit one in countless ways. Life, just as humanity itself, is very complex and at times, difficult to understand. Being able to go through life with a certain purpose and sense, and being able to understand human nature is not an easy task, often requiring specific knowledge and experience in doing so. Critical thinking provides the necessary tools to enable one to navigate through the fog of life with the determined intent. However, critical thinking is not something one is born with; rather, it is something that needs to be learned and trained. Thinking abstractly, being able to decipher problematic puzzles, coordinating thoughts accurately and intentionally, and being able to communicate succinctly require the use of critical thinking. Thinking critically means asking the right questions and solving problems. If one is unskilled and unqualified using the tools...

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