Table of Contents

First of all – What is Cultural Psychology?

Cultural psychology is a multidisciplinary topic that brings together psychologists, anthropologists, linguists, and philosophers to investigate how cultural meanings, practices, and institutions shape and reflect individual human psychologies.

Cultural psychology differs from other fields not just in terms of organization, but also in terms of philosophy. Cultural psychologists, in contrast to psychologists who think their findings and theories are universal until shown otherwise, consider that their findings and theories are culturally flexible.

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Connection to Cross-cultural Psychology

The closest relative of cross-cultural psychology is cultural psychology. Here we note some of the installations that may represent it and its characteristics. Since this psychology does not have a clear organizational and methodological structure, it is difficult to determine exactly where cross-cultural psychology ends and cultural psychology begins. 

Moreover, the majority of cross-cultural psychology adherents agree on the range of problems. Before it (this is mainly a test of the universal applicability of psychological laws and theories using different methodologies), those who identify with cultural psychology do not seem to have clear guidelines or programmed definitions of the objectives of their activities. 

However, it seems that this type of psychology advocate is not concerned about the lack of clear targets or methodological guidelines. Perhaps it is correct to say that the representation of adherents of this psychology about themselves and their own work is more global. This affects both the formation of concepts and research, as well as their articles and comments concerning the central role of culture in understanding human psychology.

Above, we pointed out that cross-cultural psychology should be defined primarily by what it does, without resorting to these hastily defined definitions. Equally kindly we intend to dispense with this psychology. Arguing that it should be defined primarily because of what it does. Thus given its views on the relationship between the individual and the culture of the individual. 

Point of Miller

Miller (Miller, 1997) notes that the fundamental premise of cultural psychology is that culture and personality behavior are inextricably linked components of a single phenomenon. 

He believes that this view contradicts the tendency of early works on cross-cultural psychology to separate culture and psychology, treating them as separate phenomena. At the same time, culture was defined as an independent variable that affects the dependent variable behavior of the individual. Bouie (Boesch, 1991) was the leader of the Saarbrucken School of Cultural Psychology.

He was highly critical of the treatment of culture as an independent variable. And the application of positivist or natural science yearns to understand the representatives of other cultures. Bosch writes in his curious article about what he calls the family “flaws” of cross-cultural psychology, from conceptual and methodological to philosophical. A special issue of Psychology and Culture (September 1997) focused on Bosch’s ideas and the influence of other authors.

Distinguishing features of cultural psychology

As already noted, this psychology is not a unified scientific discipline. Several of the most prolific cultural researchers assess the difference between cross-cultural psychology and cultural psychology in different ways. For example, Cole defines the main distinguishing features of this psychology:

  • It attaches particular importance to considering indirect action in context;
  • Also, it emphasizes the importance of the widely understood “genetic method” that includes historical, ontogenetic, and micro genetic levels of analysis;
  • It seeks to find evidence of the results of the analysis in everyday life;
  • It believes that the mind is formed in the joint mediated activities of humans. Hence it is, in a significant sense, “jointly built” and distributed;
  • She believed that personality was an active factor in one’s development. But that it was not completely free to choose from certain conditions;
  • It rejects the science that explains phenomena as cause-and-effect. Or stimulus-response in favor of science, which prioritizes mental activity. That arises in the process of activity and recognizes the central role of interpretation in the process of interpreting phenomena;
  • It uses the humanities methodology along with the methodology of social and biological sciences.

So, what does a Cultural Psychologist do?

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Cultural psychology is an interdisciplinary subject of psychology that was born out of a growing awareness of the world’s cultural diversity. This field’s core thesis is that human behavior and culture are inextricably linked; that is, people are shaped by culture, and culture, in turn, shapes people.

Cultural psychologists study how individuals and civilizations are influenced by cultural practices, institutions, and meanings. But this study is about more than just customs and languages; it’s also about understanding what motivates human conduct – different cultures’ attitudes, thoughts, and deeds.

Although cultural psychologists are more likely to undertake study, they also work in academia or in government, such as analyzing the core causes of poverty in a specific region of the world. Cultural psychologists are also interested in a wide range of themes, including the socio-cultural foundations of human behavior, the major variables that drive distinct cultures’ moral and ethical perspectives, social decision-making, and ethnopolitical conflict.

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