Culture is a set variables that set symbolic beliefs, values and norms that hold a meaning at the minds of closely related people who identify with a similar context in how they related locally in their own environment. Human beings are influenced by culture and in turn, culture is influenced by interactions between the groups of people. Cross-cultural psychology is the relative research into how different cultures interact and how their minds process information from their inherent central processing mechanisms adopted because of separate and different mental life standards (Shweder, 1990). Therefore, people from diverse background interpret the same information from a diverse range of aspects influenced. Therefore, the main reason behind cross-cultural psychology is to discover and understand the level of quagmire of appearances as presented through thoughts or at the psychic and mental level.
Analyze the relationship between cultural and cross-cultural psychology.
Two main approaches are used when discussing about cross-cultural psychology in which one is the etic and the emic approaches. The Etic approach asserts for use of a comprehensive descriptive systems to differentiate between individual cultures (Helfrich, 1999). Therefore, the etic analyses the cultural differences using standardized variables likes the level of literacy, socialization skills and level of perception. Consequently, the etic approach compares how cultural influence individual from that culture to think and act without correlating how the cultures interact. Contrastingly, the Emic approach to culture is an integral association of human behavior to mental processing capacity. Emic approach is concern with how culture accounts for the reactions observed after a subject has faced an external stimuli. The subjects are not affected by the causes but rather by reasoning capacity. While the etic approach associates with static influence and use independent variables. Etic considers culture as an independent variable outside an individual. The main challenge with Etic approach is the inability to compute culture as an independent variable for easier experimental designs (Helfrich, 1999). Cross-cultural comparison is quite misleading when a researcher assumes that independent variables of culture would specify the factor influencing an individual whereas in reality an individual is affected by a collection of joined cultural variables. For instance certain ways of arriving at a solution could be derived from daily experience in one culture while in another the subjects undergo a definite literacy problem-solving strategy such that individuals from habitual strategies think faster than individual from a culture advocating for strategic steps to overcome a problem (Helfrich, 1999).
Critical thinking is important in discovering and interpreting the results obtained from cross-cultural psychology study. The main objective of critical thinking is to aid the researcher to separate extrinsic crutches that distort the performance environment. Every researcher using the cross-cultural psychology must come to the conclusion that in order to separate the hegemony posed by the presumptions of general psychology never interfere with results. Equally, critical thinking is presumed to look into the assumed central processing mechanisms of the mind that perceived growth-stimulating environment like the level of literacy in western world as opposed to the Oriental world (Shweder, 1990). The main objectives of critical research are note and explain the reasons behind performance differences when hosting cross-cultural subjects who both act and react because of their central processing tendencies as reformed by their individual cultures or inhibition to fully assert individual central processing capacities due to external inhibiters. Critical thinking eliminates probable stimuli that may obstruct the mental capacities of the subject to act normally and provide a positive feedback that fully represents the mature processing mechanism.
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The main challenge associated with cross-cultural psychology methodology is that research into the topic remains inherent with exaggerations that raise concerns. The use of method effect in which main variations in research findings are interfered with by using slight variations during the research procedure end up interfering with the findings. Further, the wording of the question, the descriptions of the research procedure and the elicitation technique and how the problem is represented, the differences in expectations of examiners and how popular the subject in research is question is accepted by the concepts of psychology equally affect the results and the discussion that result from the research into the cross-cultural psychology.
The method effect usually results in formation of generalizations that may not consistently define the effect of cross-cultural mechanism whenever researchers use the general psychological tests and research procedures. The main challenge facing the research methodology is the biased nature of western scholars to define what they perceive as cross-cultural psychology from their own perspective without travelling to see the community in study to get first hand information about the community instead of using laboratory information from prior researchers (Shweder, 1990). The manner in which researchers define mental functioning of different communities when undertaking a methodology research into cross-cultural psychology is quite conservative and mostly the data used is usually stereotypical laboratory data to avoid travelling to meet with raw data.
Definitive problems arise when dealing with cross-cultural psychology in which researchers are still grappling with how to define population-based differences observed during the performance tests and tasks assigned to elicit the subjects’ differences. The Platonic concept allows only two viable options; the first option is the inherent performance differences observed due to undeveloped central processing capacity in the subject. The second option is the performance differences may exist as a result of the subject becoming baffled by the kind of tests and tasks assigned to the extend that the subjects fail to exhibit their true mind’s central processing mechanisms (Shweder, 1990). The differences have prompted psychologists to think that the reaction f a subject is affected by external stimulations, which include schooling, literacy and level of confidence to face the tests and tasks (Shweder, 1990). The level of internal interference in the part of the subject is affected by noise from internal representation stimuli. Therefore, the main challenge facing cross- cultural psychology is the incapacity to separate the internal and external noise that affect the way in which subject react to the tasks. Information used to test the subject is usually interpreted from a subject-dependent position, which the researcher may remain, absolutely separated from to discover and note the position as the limiting factor in uncovering the true cultural interaction graph as a representation of the particulars.
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