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Universal Concept of Cross-Cultural Psychology Essay

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Updated: Jan 28th, 2020

Introduction

Cross cultural psychology is the term used to refer to the studies done on the processes of the mind and human beings’ behavior using scientific methods. The studies help in determining the variability as well as the invariance of the behaviors and processes under varied cultural environments. These studies are aimed at establishing how universal concepts like cognition are. Issues like depression, psychopathology and anxiety are also studied (Funder, 2007).

Possibility of conducting cross cultural psychology

The possibility of conducting cross cultural psychology has been realized by various researchers who have travelled extensively in a bid to carry out the research in cultures that are even found very far away from each other. An example of successful researchers is Williams H.R. Rivers (1864 to 1922).

His study was aimed at measuring the acuteness of the senses as well as the intelligence of the native people of Torres Straits which is a region found between New Guinea and Australia. Other researchers are Williams and Best who were able to analyze the stereotypes, roles and perceptions associated with gender in various societies. Both found differences and similarities in cultures across over thirty countries (Williams, & Best, 1990).

Desirability and success of conducting cross cultural psychology

Cross cultural psychology is desirable as it is very interesting to carry out. The experiences with various cultures present the researcher with opportunities to learn things that he was previously not aware of. The research has mostly been successful despite the challenges that the researchers encounter. The researchers also have different experiences which may lead them to challenge each other’s work. This is taken as positive criticism and it provides the researchers with alternative ways of doing things (Jahoda, 1993).

Issues surrounding cross cultural psychology

The issues surrounding cross cultural psychology are mostly ethical in nature. Researchers have to be careful so that their results are not misinterpreted to stereotyping of the various cultures on which the study was done. Another issue is the determination of the hypotheses to which the research is directed.

The researcher has to be careful not to be offensive. Sampling has to be carefully considered so as not to misrepresent the object of the study. Consent is also an important issue for the research to be carried out successfully. Data evaluation should be done with a lot of caution so that there is no bias in the final result (Laungani, 2007).

Reasons for conducting cross cultural psychology

There are varied reasons why this kind of research is usually carried out. It is mostly done to determine if there are similarities or differences in how people from various parts of the world behave and perceive things. The studies also serve to show that cultures may not necessarily be how they are stereotyped.

Another role of the research is to provide alternatives to findings of other researchers. The studies also help in determining the strengths or weaknesses of varying cultures. This may be important in helping the cultures improve their way of living. The research also creates cohesion and cooperation between cultures. This may serve as an important tool for promotion of peace (Funder, 2007).

Conclusion

Cross cultural psychology is important as it provides a way of discovering how different people do things across the world. It also helps to demystify some already existing myths and stereotypes which are usually associated with certain cultures. It brings people together as they discover that they are not the only ones who are fond of carrying out certain activities. It also presents new learning opportunities for the researcher (Jahoda, 2007).

References

Funder, D.C. (2007). The Personality Puzzle. (4th ed.). New York: Norton.

Jahoda, G. (1993). Crossroads between culture and mind. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Laungani, P. (2007). Understanding cross-cultural psychology: Eastern and Western perspectives. London: Sage.

Williams, J. E., & Best, D. L. (1990). Sex and psyche: Gender and self viewed cross- culturally. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Universal Concept of Cross-Cultural Psychology." January 28, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/cross-cultural-psychology/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Universal Concept of Cross-Cultural Psychology'. 28 January.

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