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Cultural psychology is defined by involving culture as a significant factor in determining psychological and behavioral elements in an individual. From this perspective, individuals derive behaviors from close association with the immediate cultural environment. Alternatively, culture is also established from a set of commonly held behaviors among people living under the same environmental conditions.
Cultural psychology involves studying how cultural practices evolve and affect human behavior and vice versa. In this regard, understanding how cultural psychology regulates an individual’s psychology is necessary to psychologists. In addition, learning behavioral tendencies acknowledged by another individual from similar cultural background is critical in cultural psychology. However, cultural psychology does not involve psychological processes as compared to cross-cultural psychology.
Cross-cultural psychology involves learning how different elements of a culture influence an individual’s behavior. From this perspective, this branch of psychology acknowledges that a culture is made up of various elements such as customs, values, stereotypes and attitudes. Moreover, cross-cultural psychology unearths the similarities and differences among world cultures, and how they are expressed by different groups of people.
This justifies the commonality of behaviors replicated among diverse cultures. In this regard, cross-cultural psychology tries to define universal behaviors and how they impact individual behaviors, as well as family life and social experiences. Unlike cultural psychology, cross-cultural psychology involves the study of emotions, child development personalities, social behaviors and language acquisition.
In cross-cultural psychology, individuals’ behaviors are best understood from an ideological perspective. Therefore, understanding indigenous ideologies shared among people of the same culture is vital in this branch of psychology. Cross-cultural psychology evaluates the applicability of cultural diversity under several environmental situations. For example, understanding cultural diversity is essential in solving life challenges by applying same cultural behaviors among diverse groups of people.
The relationship between cultural and cross-cultural psychology is from a definition point of view. In this regard, both definitions suggest that the relationship between cultures has an impact on human behavior and vice versa. However, cultural psychology examines cultural influences on individuals living within a predetermined region.
On the other hand, cross-cultural psychology compares similarities and differences across diverse cultures from different regions. An in-depth analysis on cultural psychology reveals that cross-cultural psychology studies are based on data collected from cultural psychology.
This means that data collected from cultural psychology provides a framework and a background to conduct a cross-cultural psychology study. Another relationship between cultural and cross-cultural psychology is evidenced by psychological processes. For example, cultural psychology depends on processes such as individual goals and cognitive ability at the individual level.
Cross-cultural psychology is influenced by processes experienced at individual and interpersonal levels. Some of the processes evidenced at the interpersonal level include interpersonal communication skills, family and social influence. Cultural psychology focuses its study on the systematic link between a predetermined culture and a set of psychological variables. On the other hand, a cross-cultural psychology study is only meaningful when a comparison of at least two cultures from different socio-cultural contexts is conducted.
Critical thinking is crucial in providing the right approach and perspective towards problem solving. Cross-cultural psychology studies involve problem-solving procedures that are systematic and scientific in nature. In this regard, critical thinking is important in analyzing statistics and presenting findings as facts. In addition, critical thinking is used to assess formulated hypotheses as a matter of differentiating speculations from facts.
Cross-cultural psychology involves using individual intellect when observing opinions and analyzing data. Consequently, this requires an intellectual perspective that understands the uniqueness of the underlying social phenomenon. Critical thinking is considered to be a meta-thought necessary in reducing biases evidenced in scientific studies. Critical thinking has the capacity of achieving accurate information and preventing general assumptions from affecting the research process.
Research in a cross-cultural psychology study must achieve the predetermined objectives. In most cases, the objectives include description, interpretation, prediction and management. Quantitative and qualitative research methodologies are the most effective in cross-cultural psychology studies.
Quantitative research methodology must constitute a measure of central tendency to establish variations and statistic relationships among variables. From this perspective, quantitative methodology provides the cross-cultural psychology study with a comparative perspective. However, qualitative methodologies are immeasurable and are effective when dealing with psychological phenomenon such as dreams.
Quantitative research methodologies are effective when used to achieve a relationship or correlation between variables associated with human activity. This is in consistency with the fact that cross-cultural psychology studies are based on correlation approaches. Other research methodologies suitable for cross-cultural psychology research include surveys, focus groups, interviews, questionnaires and experiments. However, each methodology is effective when used under the right conditions.
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As indicated earlier, valuable data is critical in achieving the main research goals. From this perspective, statistical measurement of collected data must be conducted from a comparative approach using a quantitative methodology. Finally, qualitative research methodologies are most effective for experiments and when subjected to natural settings.