In addition to the cross-cultural differences that we expected, we also detected We conclude that societal rules and cultural factors may impact .. and showed the relationship between playfulness and their humor styles. Skvoretz () state that the “earliest trust rule is based on social Japanese culture, the potential cross-group relationship would matter more to Japanese. If the journal indeed tries to exclude cross-cultural research, then “WEIRD human ” .. special and fun), European American preschoolers often recall more specific . attending to relationships and similarities among diverse objects and events, .. examine the variability of commonly assumed “universal” laws and principles .
Preschool children received four short story-telling sessions within a period of two weeks. In each session, a researcher first told children a story and then asked children questions that embedded the experimental manipulation.
For children in the control group, the researcher asked questions about the physical features and objects in the story, such as where the story took place and what colors the objects were.
Thus, we are able to identify an important pathway to the development of theory of mind in Children preschoolers. Setting aside the assumption that cultural psychology is only to confirm the generalizability of theories will allow researchers to look beyond exiting paradigms and uncover new mechanisms. It is necessary for a true psychological science that can self-reflect and reduce and eliminate culture-bound biases and preconceptions, a true psychological science that constructs a universal system of knowledge about human behavior not on a local set of laws and principles but diverse cultural experiences.
Without cultural psychology, we would be blindfolded to think that we are seeking the truth about human nature but in fact we are failing to fully understand even basic processes like perceptual analysis and basic constructs like emotional intelligence. In many ways, cultural psychology functions as a mirror that compels psychologists to reflect on their work and critically evaluate their theories and findings, to go beyond the surface and convenience to question what truly matters, and to embrace the complexity of human experiences with an open mind and open heart.
Our 20 years of research on social cognition and development, although with its limits in the methodological scope of the subject matters and the range of cultural groups involved, has highlighted five important lessons. These lessons allow us to see through some of the most condescending assumptions and myths about cultural psychology, and to appreciate the pivotal role of cultural psychology in building a true psychological science.
Cultural psychology cares about not only group differences but also group similarities and, in so doing, allows researchers to examine the interplay between cultural variables and biological-cognitive constraints in determining behavioral outcomes. Cultural psychology simultaneously involves multiple levels of analysis, in which it uncovers underlying individual-level mechanisms that give rise to group differences and highlights the active role of individuals in shaping their cultural experiences.
Cultural psychology is relevant to basic psychological processes and can provide critical information about experiential correlates underlying the processes. Yet simply acknowledging the importance of culture and cultural psychology is not enough.
In our increasingly multicultural world, it is a pressing, necessary and pragmatic task for us all to actively incorporate cultural psychology into our research programs. For seasoned researchers and students in training alike, there are some important steps to take: Keep an open mind.
No matter whether we are studying basic neural-cognitive processes or complex social behaviors, stay open to the idea that these processes and behaviors may be subject to cultural influences. Familiarize ourselves with existing cultural theories and empirical data relevant to the psychological process or construct of our interest. There are many excellent accessible resources e. Embrace our multicultural samples. Multicultural, multiethnic samples have become increasingly common in our typical Psych participant pools.
Welcome them with open arms. Encourage and actively recruit participants from non-Western cultures in our research and ensure sufficient sample sizes. Take culture into account. Remain sensitive and attuned to group variations that may unexpectedly emerge in our multicultural samples.
Do not discard them but stay intellectually curious. Follow up on the earlier observations with high-powered studies. Using our knowledge in cultural psychology, develop hypothesis-based research to systematically investigate, confirm, and further explain the observed group variations.
Why Should We All Be Cultural Psychologists? Lessons from the Study of Social Cognition
Do not stop at just finding differences between cultural groups. If we suspect that certain cultural variables may play a role, find or develop appropriate measures for these variables and include them in the research design. Consider nature X nurture. Reflect on cultural differences and similarities in earlier observations. Examine the interaction between culturally variant and invariant factors in shaping human cognition and behavior.
Be a cultural methodologist. Take advantage of the unique methodological tools of cultural psychology. Examine the psychological construct of our interest at both group and individual levels and understand the dynamic relations across different levels of analysis. Study culture within the person. Understand culture as not only shared norms, values, and practices within a group, but also internalized norms, values, and practices within an individual.
Test our theories in diverse cultural groups. Continue our pursuit even when the generalizability is not confirmed, so as to enrich our research programs and guide them to previously unthought-of new directions. When we set aside any presumptions, we can better see that cultural psychology represents a unique theoretical perspective equipped with unique methods.
It provides us with additional tools to understand human behavior and psychological processes. It helps us recognize, reduce, and eliminate biases, uncover new mechanisms and develop new theories, and understand human cognition and behavior as a constructive process that takes place in the interaction between a person and her residing environment.
And when we set aside any presumptions, we can come to strategically evaluate and plan the integration of cultural psychology into our research programs. We all should and can be cultural psychologists. Acknowledgments I am grateful to Robert Sternberg, Moin Syed, and anonymous reviewers for helpful critiques and suggestions on earlier versions of this article.
Department of Agriculture to the author. Age-related changes in the episodic simulation of future events. Rethinking the baseline in diversity research: Should we be explaining the effects of homogeneity? Perspectives on Psychological Science.
Future thinking in young children. Current Directions in Psychological Science. Chao RK, Tseng V. Social sensitivity and adjustment in Chinese and Canadian children. Mainstreaming culture in psychology. Many forms of culture. Ethnicity and academics in middle childhood.
- Cross cultural relationships – How to deal with differences?
- Original Research ARTICLE
- Assumption 1: Cultural psychology is only about finding group differences
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Additionally, participants provided ratings on the perceived societal appropriateness of being playful in the given situations. This will allow for a comparison of the two perspectives. It has already been mentioned that there is a paucity of research on playfulness in Eastern countries cf. However, a few studies exist that should be highlighted. Yu and her colleagues Yu et al. Those who have fun at work experience high spontaneity, concentration, relaxation and happiness, which contributes to creativity, team feelings and better work performance Yu, Their definition of playfulness is: In total, Taiwanese adults from different occupations were consulted, and the items were derived from a literature review, group discussion, open questionnaires, and in-depth interviews.
The results showed acceptable reliability and validity, and factor analysis yielded a six-factor model Yu et al. We kept the original translation by Yu and colleagues because we wanted to keep the terminology of the original authors. In a review article, Li noted that playfulness contributes positively to the creativity of college students.
ZhangUnpublished developed a measure of playfulness for college students that consists of a seven-factor structure: Differences in playfulness were found for gender males scored higher than females in creativity, whereas females were higher in spontaneity, sociality, and pleasure ; grades e. A recent study used two student samples from Hong Kong and Guangzhou China and showed the relationship between playfulness and their humor styles.
The results suggested that highly playful Chinese students preferred using affiliative and self-enhancing humor to amuse themselves and others Yue et al. One recent study Barnett, addressed the cultural aspect of playfulness by comparing three groups of Chinese female graduate students who varied in the length of time they had lived in the United States, and thus had been exposed to American culture, with a fourth group of American students who were born in the United States and had always lived there.
Her findings suggest that playfulness can be culturally transmitted to Chinese women who are from a different culture. However, to the best of our knowledge, there are no direct comparisons of adult playfulness in Western and Eastern cultures. The Present Study The aim of the current study was threefold.
First, we aimed to establish measurement equivalence of two playfulness instruments, one of which was developed in Switzerland i. Second, we aimed to investigate cross-cultural playfulness by comparing mean level differences of playfulness between students from the West German-speaking countries and the East mainland China. Chinese students were expected to be less playful in comparison to German-speaking students using both measures, Western and Eastern.
Third, we aimed to explore the cross-cultural differences of playfulness in different situations and to estimate the social appropriateness of playfulness in these situations. Approximately two-thirds were single About a third held a Bachelor of Science degree from a university All items are positively keyed. High scorers in the SMAP expressed higher approval and liking of an unstructured working environment and higher approval and liking of an abstract painting in comparison with low scorers who expressed greater disapproval of the unstructured work space and an abstract art piece; no differences were found in rating for an orderly work space and simple geometric figures Proyer, b.
It consists of the same items and scoring rules as the German version. One sample item of the Chinese version Yu et al. A German translation of the items has been used in a previous study Proyer and Jehle, It consists of 14 different contexts with two perspectives: The self-perspective covers the level of playful behavior expressed by participants when they are with certain people e.
The perceived society perspective covers the perception of how society would rate the appropriateness of being playful around these people or in the given situation. Two sample situations are: The German and Chinese versions used in this study are provided in the online Supplementary Materials.
The first author of the current study did the initial translation from Chinese into German. Afterward a master student who studied psychology in mainland China back-translated all the items independently.
The two versions of the instruments were compared for concept equivalence by another Chinese student who was studying for a Ph. Once an error or disagreement was found in the back-translated version, the first author tried to retranslate the item and discussed this with the original author of the scale the second author of the current study.
This procedure continued until all three translators agreed that the two versions of the instruments were identical and had no errors in meaning. Hence participants would have more than one way of understanding its meaning e. An explanation of playfulness was presented in the introduction to the SMAP for both German-speaking participants and Chinese. Thus we ensured that all participants had an identical understanding of the concept. Recruitment We trained two undergraduate students who were studying psychology at Sun Yat-sen University Guangzhou and Renmin University Beijing to recruit the participants in mainland China in paper-pencil form.
Meanwhile, a German version and a Chinese version of the questionnaires were created online through a web-based survey solution SurveyMonkey.
Advertisements were placed on the Internet and via email e. As a result, we had access to students who studied in German-speaking countries mainly Switzerland or in mainland China.
Cross cultural relationships - dealing with differences.
To motivate the participants, participants living in Guangzhou received a postcard as a gift, while participants who studied psychology at the University of Zurich were given 0. Some others were more general True love is not based on wealth. PFRRs that specifically mentioned marriage appeared to communicate a general philosophy of the nature of committed romantic relationships.
The case of Marriage is like a groundnut, you must crack it to see what is inside, is a clever use of simile. Groundnuts peanuts are encased in an opaque shell. It is thus impossible to tell the size and nature of the contents the nuts from the outside. It is only by cracking the outer shell that one can tell whether the contained nuts are good or bad, big or small, fully formed or immature. Likewise, one can generally only get an accurate picture of the true nature of a romantic relationship after removal of its shell - the veneer of the public representation of the relationship to the world - to reveal its inner workings and dynamics.
Thus, the proverb is a reminder that it is impossible to accurately determine from a distance the true nature and qualities of the union: In addition though, Permyakov sees proverbial phrases as signs of situational context and relative to particular objects. A similar sentiment was put forward by Tetteh 30 years prior.
This culturally-driven apparent compulsoriness is a function of the perception of marriage as crucial to the extension of the bloodline which is key to the maintenance of the kinship system - the backbone of Akan society.
Material Support [ TOP ] The roles and content of many of the proverbs that specifically addressed women in our data was symbolic of the status of women in traditional Akan domiciles, which include being responsible for child bearing, child rearing, and running the household. Also, Gyekye observes that wives were expected to be largely financially dependent on their husbands p. As described in the introduction, existing research on how romantic relationships are construed in West African settings has suggested that West African women often place emphasis on the instrumental aspect of romantic relationships, particularly prior to marriage.
For instance, studies examining attitudes toward premarital romantic relationships in Ghanaian women suggest that women often consider the ability for their lover to provide material support as a major criterion for initiating or maintaining romantic relationships Ankomah,; Dinan, While this type of sexual exchange is observed across a number of cultures e. Consistent with the cultural expectation that husbands should be financially responsible for their partners, material support was a prevalent theme in the collection of PFRRs.
Financial dependence of women on men in the context of romantic relationships was highlighted by proverbs such as If a young man sells meat, he will be in debt to a young woman. According to the authors of the proverb compendium, the manifest meaning of this proverb is Money that comes to a man, goes out to a woman. This then captures the traditional expectation of the direction of flow of financial resources within the context of a romantic relationship.
The cultural expectation for financial support in the context of romantic relationships in Ghana has been discussed by Ankomah and Duncan For example, Duncan states: Writers such as Boni The final stage, involving the payment of etiri aseda thank-offering for the giving of the headusually signalled that the man had become the recognized husband of the woman.
At this stage, a husband could exercise both reproductive and sexual rights over his wife, who for her part acquired the right to be maintained, clothed and housed.
We observed that some proverbs in this category reveal the dark side of this social expectation. Proverbs such as Marriage, we leave it reluctantly illustrate the danger that the financial benefits associated with being in a financial relationship may be a barrier to leaving the relationship even when the beneficiary wants to do so.
That said, the proverbs also communicated that money is not everything, through maxims such as If a woman doesn't love you, it doesn't help if you splash money out on her, and True love is not based on wealth.
Cross cultural relationships
In sum, a subset of PFRRs communicated cultural expectations of material support. The general thematic trend of proverbs in this category was financial support of the wife by her spouse. Some proverbs addressed the downsides to this focus on financial support, revealing the double-edged sword nature of this cultural expectation.
This message is consistent with Akan traditional marriage ceremony related rituals, as well as early research e. However, the data also revealed additional categories of relationship values which are discussed below. Relational and Emotional Support [ TOP ] While material support was a common theme, Relational support - non-monetary behaviors by one partner for the benefit of the other partner in the relationship - was the most predominant theme among the proverbs.
In accordance with gender-specific roles assigned to romantic partners, many of the proverbs that fit this bill addressed the female half of the dyad. Such proverbs convey expectations of caretaking, which includes running the household. It must be noted that proverbs addressing caretaking of children which plays an important role in the lives of Akan women were excluded from our PFRRs because they did not directly address romantic relationships.
Expressions of care were not restricted to instrumental tasks such as feeding spouses, but also espoused via the provision of Emotional support through encouragement and reassurance, as illustrated by proverbs such as A woman lies behind a man manifest meaning: This is consistent with the notion of Action-Facilitating Support offering of information or advice to assist romantic partner.
While material support was indeed an important characteristic of the PFRRs, the proverbs also clearly and prominently communicated a value of Nurturant and Emotional forms of Support within the context of Akan romantic relationships. These proverbs illustrate the importance of both Action Facilitating and Nurturant Support, which are both found to be strongly associated with high relationship quality Overall et al.
An overlapping category of proverbs specifically addressed the concept of love. Collectively, they communicate Akan expectations of what love is and does e. Love does not listen to rumors; Love forgives shortcomings; Love is pureas well as what love is not or does not do e. Love does not go for water and does not go for firewood, but it eats; A lover does not listen to argument.
While the idea of passionate love was not explicitly addressed, the notion of devotion was present in proverbs such as Love is death and Love is ill with stubbornness. Relationship Problems [ TOP ] The third major theme in the subset of proverbs analyzed was a focus on relationship problems which could obviously pose threats to relationship satisfaction, quality and stability.
Many of such proverbs placed the root of relationship problems on specific characteristics of one partner. For example, a proverb that addressed unfaithfulness in a romantic relationship states: It is the woman whose husband is absent that we have sex with.