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Cultural Psychology (Heine)

Chapter 2: Cultural Evolution

Ecological and Geographical Variation


Proximal Causes: those that have a direct and immediate relation with their effects
Distal Causes: initial difference that lead to effects over long periods of time, and often
through indirect relations
Evoked Culture: notion that all people, regardless of where they are from, have a certain
biologically encoded behavioral repertoires that are potentially accessible to them and
those repertoires are engaged when the appropriate situational conditions are present
o Tied to geography, when one moves to a new environment, new behavioral
responses should be evoked
Transmitted Culture: people learn about culture through social learning or modeling
others who live near them
Natural Selection:
o 1. There is individual variability among members of a species on certain traits
o 2. Those traits are associated with different survival rates
o 3. Those traits have a hereditary basis
o All 3 conditions must be present
Sexual Selection: those who can attract the healthiest mate will be most likely to have
surviving offspring
o Ideas as replications
o Genes longevity; fidelity: high to reduce errors for successful copying
Fecundity: produce many copies, higher number = better
Dawkins Memes: smallest units of cultural info that can be faithfully transmitted
o Ex: catch phrases, tunes, table manners, I pods, etc.
Epidemiology of Ideas
o First and individual (the inventor) has mental representation in mind. Second
another individual (the imitator) learns idea from first person and creates mental
representation of idea in head. (Keeps central gist, but is re-created from the
previous idea)
o Communicable ideas spread through language
Dynamic Social Impact Theory: Individuals come to influence each other, they do so by
terms of how often the individuals interact, which ultimately leads to clusters of like
minded people separated by culture
o Norms develop among those who communicate regularly
Contemporary Legends: fictional stories told in modern societies as though they are
true
o More likely to spread when they evoke a shared emotional reaction among people
o

Minimally Counter intuitive Ideas: statements that are surprising and unusual in that
they violate our expectations but are not too outlandish
Many cultures becoming interconnected through globalization
o Many becoming more individualistic
o People in many cultures becoming more intelligent, more education, college
degrees
o Steve Johnson: argues pop culture has become more progressively complex and
challenging
o Is this making us smarter?
Subjective Well-being: feeling of how satisfied one is with ones life
Pluralistic Ignorance: tendency for people to collectively misinterpret thoughts that
underlie other peoples behaviors
o Leads to cultural persistence; college students believe there is large alcohol
consumption on campus than there really is

Chapter 5: Self and Personality

Five Factor Model of Personality


o 5 core traits overlap
o 1. Openness to Experience: persons intelligence and curiosity about the world
o 2. Conscientiousness: how responsible and dependable
o 3. Extraversion: how much individual is active or dominant
o 4. Agreeableness: extent which a person tends to be warm and pleasant
o 5. Neuroticism: degree of emotional instability or unpredictableness
Twenty Statements Test (Kuhn & McPortland, 1954)
o I am_____
o Culture provides ways we think about ourselves (content)
o Think about self in abstract psych attributes or roles/relationships
Independent view of self: self derives its identity from inner attributes. Attributes
assumed to reflect essence of individual, viewed as stable across situations and lifespan.
Unique and self contained attributes regulate behavior and individuals have obligation to
advertise publically themselves in ways consistent with these attributes.
Interdependent view of self: self as relational entity fundamentally connected to,
sustained by a number of significant relationships. Behavior recognized as contingent
upon perceptions of others thoughts, feelings, actions, part of a larger social unit.
o Different behavior toward ingroup and outgroup members
Across all cultures, slight trend in male stereotypical traits viewed as more admirable
than female ones; more strength
We rationalize decisions to reduce cognitive dissonance and keep consistency of self
across contexts
East Asians only rationalize when decisions are made for others
o West: consistent with selves

o East: consistent with others


Subjective Self-Awareness: peoples concerns are with the world outside themselves and
largely unaware of themselves as individuals
o You are an audience member when your awareness is directed to the stage
Objective Self-Awareness: concerns directed specifically at themselves. Consider how
they appear to others, experiencing themselves as an object.
o How are they faring by a set of standards
East Asians show more habitual self-awareness
Incremental Theory of Self: belief that we can easily change and are expected to
change; belief a persons abilities and attributes are malleable and can be improved
Entity Theory of Self: abilities and traits largely fixed, innate features of the self
Americans move a lot more so personality depends more on traits than stable network of
relationships

Chapter 7: Morality

Universalism: the perspective that sees people from different cultures as largely the
same, and any observed cultural variability exits only at a superficial level
o Cultural variability only at superficial level, largely variables on closer
inspection
Relativism: cultural diversity in ways of thinking is not superficial, but reflects
genuinely different psychological processes
o Culture and thought mutually constituted
o Default assumption that cultural practices reflect solution to challenges faced
by a culture
Evolutionism (a cultural psychologist perspective): cultural variability reflects
genuine differences in psych processes, and there is any one way mind has evolved to
think. Some ways of thinking more mature/advanced than others.
o People of different cultures would think in same way once they reached part
of development or participated in cultural context that allowed for full
expression of the minds capabilities
Kohlbergs Stages of Moral Development
o Level 1: Preconventional
Individuals understand cultural rules/labels and label good/bad. People
interpret morality based on how better or worse off they would be for
acting a certain way
o Level 2: Conventional
People able to identify with particular group and show loyalty
Viewing actions as moral to extent they help maintain and facilitate
social order
o Level 3: Postconventional
Moral values/principles exist separated from authority of social groups

Abstract ethical principles of right and wrong


Good behavior seen as consistent with set of universal ethical
principles that emphasize justice and individuals rights
o Universal pattern of moral development across the world, but doesnt reflect
levels different cultures reach
o But postconventional level=western, urban bias
Shweders 3 Codes of Ethics across the world
o Ethic of Autonomy: morality in terms of individual freedom and rights
violations
o Ethic of Community: individuals have duties that confirm with their roles in
community or social hierarch
o Ethic of Divinity: concerned about sanctity and perceived natural order of
things one is obligated to preserve standards mandated by transcendent
authority
Ethic of Community; German Sociologist Ferdinand Tonnies
o 2 means individuals can relate in group
o Gemeinschaft (community): bind people together; relationships viewed as
real, organic and ends in themselves. People feel unity of spirit, relationships
not instrumental terms
Obligations with ones own relationships would take on weight of full
moral obligations
o Gesellschaft (association/society): more characteristic of modern western
societies, treat relationships as imaginary, instrumental, and means to an end. \
Autonomy of individuals bound to each other by social convention
Lack of obligations toward others, formalized rules necessary to keep
order
Moral obligations = objective obligations: people believe that they have obligation
to act, but no official rule or law that requires them to do so
Moral Obligations = legitimately regulated; people should be prevented from
engaging in moral violation or punished
Emotions and Moral Violations
o Do emotions guide morality?
o Guilt and shame keep us in line, why we dont commit crimes
o Rozin: we attend to specific kind of moral violation we perceived
Different emotional reactions to 3 different code of ethics
Violation of Ethic of Autonomy: when people feel harm is caused or
rights taken away, tend to respond with anger
Violation of ethic of community: people who witness those who dont
live up to duties toward a group or not doing their share have
contempt
Violation of ethic of Divinity: someone violates sacred natural order of
things feel disgust

Morality of thoughts
o Protestants viewed thoughts as governed by moral concerns, Jews didnt
(focused on what people do not think)
Culture and Distributive Justice
o Principle of need: resources directed toward who need them the most
o Principle of equality: resources shared equally
o Principle of equity: resources distributed based on individuals contributions
o Meritocracy: earnings depend on effort
o Seniority system: older/ more experienced more rewarded

Chapter 8: Emotions

James-Lange Theory of Emotions: emotions are physiological responses or bodily


reverberations to stimuli, product of autonomic nervous system.
o James: emotions are physical sensations that make us feel human
Two Factor Theory of Emotions: emotions were interpretations of bodily responses
James-Lange since physiological makes case for universality of emotional experience
Appraisal: way we evaluate events in terms of relevance to our well-being
Shweder Definition on emotion: the affective response to an appraisal
Facial expressions universal 80-90% (Ekman & Friesen, 1971)
Basic set of emotions (6): anger, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise, disgust
Ekmans theory of emotions: when encountering the same situation, people will have the
same emotional response, which will be linked to corresponding facial muscles
o Evolutionary advantage to conceal emotions
o Facial expressions not reflexive, able to moderate expressions to express feelings
we like to communicate with others
Display Rules: culturally specific rules that govern which facial expressions are
appropriate in given situation and how intensely they should be exhibited
o Pain expression more pronounced among older patients than among younger
patients
Ritualized Displays: voluntary produced emotional expressions from cultural display
rules
Facial Feedback Hypothesis: one source of info we utilize when inferring our feelings
is our facial expressions
o Masking emotions in Japan may lead to Japanese experiencing fewer and less
intense emotions than Americans
o Schadenfreude: German term for feelings of pleasure that one gets when
witnessing hard times befall another (example of various emotional states not
agreed in one language)
Linguistic Relativity: extent to which people think are influenced by words the use
o Japanese feel good focusing on how emotions connect them to others, Americans
feel good when emotions distinguish themselves from others

Subjective Well-being: feeling of how satisfied one is with ones life


o People in individualistic societies far more likely than those in collectivistic
societies to base life satisfaction on how many positive emotions they were
experiencing
o In collectivist cultures, life satisfaction based on giving up to cultural norms,
being high respected by other for living up to standards
o Americans seek out positive emotions high in arousal, East Asians prefer low
arousal ones

Chapter 11: Interpersonal Attraction, Close Relationships, and Group

What is attractive?
o Skin that looks free of blemishes, blotches, sores, rashes
o Bilateral symmetry: shows developmental stability
o Average faces
Facial features close to average size, configuration
Less likely to have genetic abnormalities
But bodies are attractive if they are different from average
Propinquity Effect: people are more likely to become friends with people with whom
they frequently interact
o Those who stood next to whom influenced interactions more than personalities or
background
Mere Exposure Effect: more we are exposed to a stimulus, more we are attracted to it
Similarity-Attraction Effect: people tend to be attracted to those who are most like
themselves
Close Relationships
o Cultural differences: individualistic society more open to having less enemies
o Collectivist dont trust ingroups (neighbors, friends, relatives)
o Americans view fundamentally disconnected from others, only reasons such
people would form connections is because they would choose to do so
o Relations only develop when people involved in them decide that forming a
relationship would be to their advantage
o Interdependent/collectivist: self is defined primarily on basis of close
relationships
Relationships not chosen, but exist by default whether positive or
negative
o Western Psych view: relationships are entered into and maintained on a mutually
voluntary basis. One can start or dissolve a relationship
o Ghanainas view friendship as A friend is someone who is ready to help you ,
whether it is financially or socially, where there is a need.
o Americans with al lot of friends are seen to have too many obligations
o Parental love to keep children alive

o Romantic love to keep parents together


o Individualism generally appears to be related to emphasis on romantic love in
marriages
o Idealization of romantic partner less emphasized in collectivist cultures where
individualized personal agency isnt especially elaborated
o In arranged marriages, one can learn to love the person
Groups
o People with independent selves shown to have rather permeable boundary
between ingroups and outgroups
o People with interdependent selves tended to have a more clear cut boundary
distinguishing these groups
o People with independent selves more willing to form new relationships, maintain
networks or less distressed if relationships fade
Actor-observer bias: tendency to see ones own behavior as best explained by situational
factors whereas behavior of others better explained by dispositional factors
o the stronger the bonds are among members within a group, the weaker the ties
between groups
o Americans tend to have higher levels of general trust toward strangers than
Japanese
Entity Model of Ingroup Identity

Network Model of Ingroup identity

Japanese view person in ingroup even if here is an indirect connection (friend of a friend)
Fiske (1991, 1992) 4 Basic elements of Sociality

o Communal Sharing: every person treated the same, have identical rights and
privileges; resources pooled to belonging to the larger whole
o Authority Ranking: people linearly ordered along a hierarchical social dimension;
higher privileges for higher ranking, vice versa
o Equality Matching: people keep track of what is exchanged and motivated to pay
back what has been exchanged in equivalent turns; contributions and chances to
earn are equal
o Market Pricing: people expect to receive something equivalent, but exchange on
both sides occur at once, and different kinds of good exchanged
o All human relationships constructed out of one or more of these
Working with Others
o Social Facilitation: people perform well learned tasks better, poorly learned ones
worse in the presence of others
o Social loafing: when it is not clear how much any individual is contributing,
people often dont work as hard; if task is challenging, less loafing, if easier more
loafing
o Social Striving: working better when evaluated as a group than as individuals
Negations
o Confrontational: individualist
o Compromise: collectivist