Culture psychology is the study of how behavioural and psychological tendencies are embedded within the culture. This essentially means that one’s culture directly influences how they are “tailored”. The fact that the mind and culture are inseparable serves as a major tenet in cultural psychology. Here, psychological processes are shaped by local cultural practices making an individual stand out just because of their culture. It is within this field of study the 4I’s of psychology come. Namely these are: Individual, interactions, Institutions and Ideologies. These directly affect how individuals behave and relate (“Psychology,” 2002).
The study here is dedicated to determining how the members of different cultures differ as a result of different psychological traits. These could include language acquisition, family relationships and emotions. The similarities and differences between (and within) cultures are determined within this branch of psychology. A good difference of how different cultures vary would be the way individuals from diverse cultures express happiness. Happiness is a feeling that can be experienced by everyone, but the distinction comes where they show that they are happy (Ratner, 2008).
Role of Critical Thinking in Cross-Cultural Psychology
Critical thinking is a fundamental and essential component of learning where psychology lies. These especially come to play where one is in a foreign country, and they are required to make a decision on a situation they are not very familiar. Although something may be normal for the culture, it is challenging to suspend judgement on issues one is not all familiar with. Cultural expectations and norms affect how individuals react to various situations. Critical thinking has been shown to reduce conflict that could exist between (and among) individuals of various cultures (Ratner, 2008).
Essentially, critical thinking allows an individual from a different culture to make a sound and lucid judgement about other cultures. People who cling to certain beliefs even in the absence of confirming evidence normally end up making unjustified judgements that in the end prove detrimental to human coexistence. Cross cultural psychologists are, therefore, encouraged to avoid generalizations; mostly biased. It is required that they require a great deal of abstraction and imagination as far as a number of diverse cultures are involved (Ratner, 2008).
Methodology Associated with Cross-Cultural Research
There are four fundamental goals of research in cross psychology. These are description, interpretation, prediction and management. Quantitative research methodology approaches data in a comparative manner. These will essentially provide statistical relationships within the said data enabling one to make sound judgements. Qualitative measures, on the other hand, are employed where the phenomena in question is difficult to measure (Ratner, 2008).
Additionally, the researcher should identify the goals they need to achieve and also how they hope to achieve them. This is done by blending these two methods in a manner that efficiency can be achieved. Correlational approaches also come to play and go a long way in ensuring the data concerning the various cultures under study is correct.
Conclusively, culture and cross-cultural psychology are different concepts; to mention the least. Cultural psychology is embedded within cross-cultural in the sense that it forms a build-up; one culture is used vis-a-vis the other. As such, getting it right from the very beginning is necessary as it serves as a foundation to diversity. It is, however, necessary to realise that the major difference between the two is their scope; whereas cultural psychology is concerned with a specific culture, its counterpart focuses on various cultures (“Psychology,” 2002).
Psychology. (2002). Danbury, Conn.: Grolier Educational.
Ratner, C. (2008). Cultural psychology, cross-cultural psychology, and indigenous psychology. New York: Nova Science Publishers.