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Title: Psychology and Culture
Authors: Molchanova, Elena
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: American University of Central Asia. Psychology Department
Abstract: The social sciences address human behavior in varying realms: as individuals and in groups, as members of distinct cultures and societies, and within political, economic, social and historic contexts. In each, there is debate about how much of human behavior is the consequence of nature or nurture. Yet any meaningful consideration must include both biological and social influences. In this course, while not forgetting that guiding principle, we will focus primarily on behavior within its cultural context. Behaviors and their meanings often differ from one culture to another and many of the problems that occur in intercultural encounters are attributable to different cultural assumption and practices, which can easily result in misinterpretation. We will examine the role culture plays in forming individual and group behavior, from cultural differences in emotional expression, to culturally bounded systems of classifications, to intellectual tests, to traditional rituals, to multiple and distinct interpretations of the culture “text.”
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