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How knowledge about different cultures is shaking the foundations of psychology

Different Psychologies

Different Psychologies

Psychology, which was largely developed in North American and Europe, has largely been able to understand human behavior and mental processes.

As our knowledge of different cultures and thought patterns opens up, we find that this understanding isn't as universal as previously thought.

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How knowledge about different cultures is shaking the foundations of psychology

How knowledge about different cultures is shaking the foundations of psychology

http://theconversation.com/how-knowledge-about-different-cultures-is-shaking-the-foundations-of-psychology-92696

theconversation.com

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Key Ideas

Different Psychologies

Psychology, which was largely developed in North American and Europe, has largely been able to understand human behavior and mental processes.

As our knowledge of different cultures and thought patterns opens up, we find that this understanding isn't as universal as previously thought.

The Right Representation

Normally, studies conducted to understand human behavior have participants representing the wider human population, which may be true in a certain geography but isn't accurate when we take into account other cultures and demographics.

More than 90% of the participants in psychological studies originate from countries that are Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (W.E.I.R.D) which is neither a random sample nor a real representation of the human population.

Different Ways Of Being

People across the world have different ways of describing themselves, different mental associations and thinking styles, possessing radically diverse motivations, upbringing, and social relationships.

What may be categorized as a mental illness in a certain part of the world may be normal behavior in another. Cultural differences pervade in a wider array of human behavior and there is a need to increase the circumference and scope of these studies.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Cross-cultural psychology

Cross-cultural psychology

Cross-cultural psychology is defined as a branch of psychology that analyses the effects of cultural factors on human behavior.

For instance, while some cultures play ...

The importance of cross-cultural psychology

The first important role cross-cultural psychology has is to rectify most of the biases that people have in the field.

Furthermore, this branch of the psychology is used to understand the influence that cultural differences have on people's perception of each other.

The culture

The term 'culture' can be defined as the characteristics of a group of people, from attitudes to values, transmitted from generation to generation.

The cross-cultural psychology studies, by means of etic or emic approach, the way culture influences our life as a whole or the idea of ethnocentrism, which so often leads to biases.

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Anthropology

It is the study of humans and the ways they live. The goal is to understand human diversity and cultural differences. The four primary sub-fields:

  • Archeology focuses o...

Sociology

It studies the ways groups of people interact with each other and how their behavior is influenced by social structures, categories, and institutions. It has many tenets:

  • Individuals belong to groups, which influence their behavior.
  • Groups have characteristics independent of their members.
  • Sociology focuses on patterns of behavior among groups (defined by gender, race, class, etc.)

Anthropology and sociology careers 

Anthropology and sociology degrees can lead to a career as a teacher, public sector employee, or academic. The degree can be a stepping stone to a career in politics, public administration, or law.

Non-academic careers for anthropologists include public sector research at organizations like the World Bank or UNESCO, or working as freelance research consultants.

Sociologists who have a PhD can work as analysts in public policy organizations, or as demographers, non-profit administrators, or research consultants.

"Being spiritual" nowadays signals:

"Being spiritual" nowadays signals:
  1. People that believe there is more to the world than meets the eye, more than the mere material. 
  2. People that attend to their inner life (their mental and emotio...

Understanding the world

Spirituality is a framework for understanding the world. It enables people to make sense of that which, for them, science and religion fail to address: religion because it's outdated and out of touch with scientific progress, science because it's incapable to answer some of life's most crucial questions (of purpose, meaning and value).

Outer Space vs. Inner Space

The Dalai Lama once joked: "While the West was busy exploring outer space, the East was busy exploring inner space". 

Regardless of the veracity of this, it does seem that for contemporary western societies, silence and stillness are an exception, not the rule.

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