Introduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology
1. Introduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology
psychology of the last decades is firmly rooted
in societal developments in many Western
countries: globalization and migration (leading
to an increase of cross-cultural encounters)
4. What is cross-cultural psychology?• "Cross-cultural research in psychology is the
explicit, systematic comparison of
psychological variables under different
cultural conditions in order to specify the
antecedents and processes that mediate
the emergence of behaviour differences"
(Eckensberger, 1972, p.100).
5. What is cross-cultural psychology? (cont’d)• "Cross-cultural psychology is concerned
with the systematic study of behaviour and
experience as it occurs in different cultures,
is influenced by culture, or results in
changes in existing cultures" (Triandis, 1980,
Cross-cultural psychology is the study:
of similarities and differences in individual
psychological functioning in various cultural
and ethnocultural groups
of the relationships between psychological
variables and socio-cultural, ecological and
and of ongoing changes in these variables
(Berry et al., 2012)
7. Fundamental questions of CCPHow deep are cross-cultural differences in
2. What are the main methodological challenges to
the field? How can methodological advances help
us in improving the quality of our research?
3. How does culture become ingrained in human
4. What is the relationship between individual and
8. Basic features of cross-cultural psychology (CCP)Cross-cultural psychology includes such branches as:
- cultural psychology
- indigenous psychologies
- culture-comparative psychology.
CCP relates to
but it is not the same.
9. Сultural psychology• Cultural psychology seeks to discover meaningful links
between a culture and the psychology of individuals living in
• The main focus of cultural psychology is to study whether,
when, and how individuals growing up in a particular culture
tend to internalize that culture’s qualities (Cole, 1996).
• Cultural psychology advocates the idea that mental processes
are essentially the products of an interaction between culture
and the individual.
10. INDIGENOUS PSYCHOLOGY• Main idea - it is not possible to fully understand the
psychology of the people in a particular ethnic group without
a complete understanding of the social, historic, political,
ideological, and religious premises that have shaped people of
• Indigenous theories are characterized by the use of
conceptions and methodologies associated exclusively with
the cultural group under investigation (Ho, 1998).
• Kim and Berry (1993) define indigenous psychologies as the
scientific study of human behavior, or the mind, that is
designed for a people, is native and not transported from
12. 2. Relationships between culture and behaviour
13. The key questionHow to study relationships between culture and
Some suggestions for
provide ‘maps’ to define
various branches and
approaches to this question.
suggestions for carrying out
cross-cultural and intercultural
14. Culture and behavior: three perspectivesAbsolutism
• No cultural variations in psychological phenomena.
• Culture is not important in the explanation of the
development or display of human behaviour.
• Comparisons are made easily and without
regard to cultural factors.
• All psychological phenomena are so embedded in
cultural context that behaviour in each culture must
be examined in its own terms.
• Hence, comparisons are impossible.
• Basic psychological processes are common to all
• Culture plays an important role in their development
• Comparisons can be made on the basis of these
Berry et.al 1992, 2002
15. Theoretical position of Universalism1. All fundamental psychological processes are present in all
Hence, cross-cultural psychology accepts the existence of basic
psychological communalities at a deep level of functioning.
2. These basic processes are developed and displayed in
different ways in different cultures.
These underlying process similarities provide a valid basis for
16. Three distinctions and assumptions of universalism1. Basic psychological processes and capacities are
present in all individuals in all cultures (eg.,
perceiving, remembering, having emotions, and
2. Culture interacts with these basic psychological
features and shapes their development into
3. Cultures provide the context that influence the
performance of these individual competencies.
distinctions (1) in psychology between process,
competence and performance:
- Processes are those fundamental psychological features
of human life that are widely-shared and (as far as it is
known) are culturally invariant.
- Competencies are those features of psychological life
that develop as a result of interaction between basic
processes and cultural experience. These vary across
- Performances are the expressions of competencies in the
appropriate situations. Also vary across cultures.
18. Example of Universalism: Language1. All human beings have the processes and
capacities to develop language and
communication -> more than one language can
2. Cultures influence which language(s) an
individual will acquire.
3 Cultural and social situations will influence which
language(s) a person will use in any particular
19. Methodological Issues• The practical requirements of carrying out
comparative psychological research (either
cross-cultural or intercultural) are difficult to
• Following are some tools that have been
developed and used in such research:
1. Ecocultural framework
2. Equivalence and comparability.
20. Ecocultural Approach• Groups and individuals develop their customary and
individual behaviours as adaptations to the demands of their
ecology, as they live in particular ecosystems.
Hence, similar habitats should give rise to patterns of social
institutions and behaviours that are shared, common ways of
• The approach also considers sociopolitical influences on the
population from outside the local habitat (eg., acculturation
via schooling, religion) to be important sources of social and
These two sets of external influences will alter the
basic cultural and psychological features of people
21. Ecocultural Approach• Understanding the relationships between cultural
contexts and human behaviour requires that both
contexts and behaviors be assessed independently.
• Contexts are seen as complex networks of interrelated ecological, cultural and sociopolitical
Behaviours are similarly viewed as complex sets of
22. Ecocultural Framework
23. Ecocultural Framework• To summarise, the ecocultural framework considers human
diversity (both cultural and psychological) to be a set of
collective and individual adaptations to context.
• Within this general perspective, it views cultures as evolving
adaptations to ecological and sociopolitical influences, and
views individual psychological characteristics in a population
as adaptive to their cultural context.
• It also views (group) culture and (individual) behaviour as
distinct phenomena at their own levels, phenomena that
need to be examined independently.
24. Emics and Etics• These terms derive from linguistics where phonemics and
phonetics are distinguished
• Emics are local and culturally-specific phenomena.
• Etics are culturally-general.
• They are of two types:
-Imposed etics- imported from outside.
-Derived etics- generated from inside.
• Both approaches are required to ‘gain perspective’ on a
25. Models of Cross-Cultural Differences (classical)25
26. More modern models• More emphasis on non-dichotomous nature of
• More emphasis on empirical aspects of discussion
– Some behaviors maybe emic, some behaviors may be etic
• Change of terminology
– Emic culture-specific
– Etic universal (in the sense of pan-human)
27. What is Emerging?• New field with renewed interest
• Compared to the first generation, new studies are
Less anthropologically oriented
More psychologically oriented
Less theory driven
Using more modern data collection and analysis methods
More focused on Western and less on non-Western
31. What is culture?Culture is ‘the human-made part of the
environment’ (Herskovitz, 1955)
Culture is like a computer program that controls
behavior (Hofstede, 1980)
Culture is the software of the mind (Hofstede,
32. Cultural antropology suggests types of definitions (1/2)• Descriptive –list any and all aspects of human life
• Historical – emphasize the accumulation of tradition
• Normative – emphasize shared rules which govern
activity of people
• Psychological – variety of psychological features
(problem-solving, learning, habits).
• Ex.: culture is learned, and the result of this learning is the establishment
of habits and collective customs in a particular group
33. Definitions of cultureCulture, broadly conceived as all that individuals learn from
others that endures to generate customs and traditions, shapes
vast swathes of human lives (Whiten, Hinde, Laland, and Stinger,
Culture is a unique meaning and information system, shared by a
group and transmitted across generations, that allows the group
to meet basic needs of survival, pursue happiness and wellbeing, and derive meaning from life (Matsumoto & Juang, 2016).
• Poortinga, Y. (2015). Is “Culture” a Workable Concept for
(Cross-)Cultural Psychology?. Online Readings in Psychology
and Culture, 2(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.9707/2307-0919.1139
34. Triandis (1994):Culture is a set of human-made objective and
subjective elements that in the past have
increased the probability of survival and
resulted in satisfactions for the participants in
an ecological niche, and thus became shared
among those who could communicate with
each other because they had a common
languge and lived in the same time and place
35. Is Culture a Uniquely Human Product?•Many animals are social; that is, they work and live in groups. Fish swim in
schools, wolves hunt in packs, and lions roam in prides.
• In animal societies, there are clear social networks and hierarchies. The staring
game played by us humans as children is used by animals to create dominance
hierarchies. And like the human game, the animal that smiles or averts its gaze
loses and becomes the subordinate.
• Many animals invent and use tools (Whiten, Horner, & De Waal, 2005).Perhaps
the most famous initial example of this were the monkeys who used twigs to get
insects to eat. Japanese monkeys at Koshima Island washed sweet potatoes and
bathed in the sea (Matsuzawa, 2001).
• Many animals communicate with each other. Bees communicate via a complex
dance concerning the source of flowers. Ants leave trails to communicate their
paths to themselves and others. And relatives of monkeys who wash sweet
potatoes at Koshima Island themselves began to wash sweet potatoes.
36. What is different?• Human cultures are cumulative; knowledge,
tools, technology, and know-how accumulate
over time and continue to improve
• Humans have specialized socio-cognitive skills
(teaching through verbal instructions, imitation
and prosociality, that allow them to reach highlevel solutions when solving problems.
• Cumulative culture allows human cultures to
differ from animal cultures on complexity,
differentiation and institutionalization
37. A theoretical framework for studying ecology, culture, and behaviorSimple way to think of culture:
Ecology -> Culture -> Socialization -> Personality -> Behavior
38. EcologyFeatures of ecological niche define which individual
characteristics increase chances of the group to survive.
Farming community and hunting band requires different
characteristics of members. Those who misfit may be
removed from breeding population.
Such changes in the gene pool makes genes consistent with
43. Socialization and PersonalityCultures have different ways of raising children.
Socialization differences can lead to personality
Warm and supportive parents have optimistic and well
Rejecting or indifferent parents have pessimistic, emotionally
unstable, hostile, poorly adjusted children.
44. Culture relates to the health status of individualsWorld Health Organization 2011
46. Culture and Sex-Role InequalityMen have more status and power across
But these differences are not the same in all
47. Culture and MoralityCollectivist cultures
Morality is a function of what
is good for the group
Morality emphasizes personal
Acting on the basis of what is
the best in a particular
People are likely to act based
on abstractions such as
Conflict between individual
and group resolves by the
moral submitting to the will
of the group
«The greatest good for the
48. Marsella, A. (2012). Psychology and globalization: Understanding a complex relationship Journal of Social Issues, 68(3),454-472.
49. History of Globalization• Initial ideas and thoughts about globalization emerged
largely from the economic and business sectors; it was
soon acknowledged (mid-1970s) that globalization had
critical political implications since multinational
corporations and global corporations were competing
for national loyalties and allegiances.
• What is special about globalization for our present
period is that telecommunications and transportation
have literally placed all of our lives with all of its
consequences in near immediate contact and impact.
50. Ambivalence Toward Globalization• Globalization has brought some positive changes.
It is, for some individuals and nations, an
• Yet, simultaneously, it is punitive, bringing with it
massive destructions in the social fabric of a
society with all of the problems this entails.
• There are both positive and negative evaluations
and judgments of globalization’s sources,
processes, and consequences, depending upon
who is doing the commentary and why.
51. Definition of Globalization• Globalization is both a process and product; they
are reciprocally determined;
• the primary drivers of globalization are all events,
forces, and changes that are transnational,
transcultural, and transborder, especially: capital
flow, ownership, trade, telecommunications,
transportation, political and military alliances,
and international agencies (Marsella, 1997,
• Globalization can occur at many different levels
(e.g., individual, community, societal, national,
regional) and it can have many different sources
(e.g., economic, political, cultural, geographic,
technical, medical, psychological).
52. ‘Hegemonic globalization’Within the context of hegemonic globalization (being imposed or
driven by a few nations), globalization is nothing more than
colonization disguised as mutual trade interests.
A serious concern is the hegemonic imposition of values
associated with North American—that is, United States—popular
culture, including individualism, materialism, competition,
hedonism, rapid change (‘progress’), profit, greed,
commodification, consumerism, reductionism, celebritization,
privatization, and English-language preference.
These values carry with them a way of life that is alien and
offensive to many people throughout the world, even residents
in Western cultures. Of special concern is the fact that American
popular culture values are becoming the preferences of youth
around the world (Marsella, 2005, p. 16)
53. Influence of Globalization on Identities and values• New global community would require multiple loyalties (Sandel,
1996, p. 74). The requirement of multiple loyalties, multiple
identities, multiple citizenships relating to cities, nations, regions,
and ultimately the world, challenges the way in which psychology
has typically conceptualized group identity.
• Clearly, globalization is a source of anxiety because it threatens
traditional sources of meaning and value. Furthermore it has, for
many serious analysts, now become a principle source of global
injustice, inequity, corruption and violence (Nasser, 2005). Although
one is ultimately responsible to construct a life of meaning and
value, social and economic conditions may facilitate or impede this
process. A globalization process that impoverishes and marginalizes
masses of the world’s people inhibits people’s efforts to see their
lives as having meaning and value. A globalization process that truly
enhances development and opportunity would facilitate these
efforts (Salzman, 2008, p. 326).
(1) Ethics–Less violation of human rights;
(2) Equity–Less disparity among nations;
(3) Inclusion–Less marginalization of people and countries;
(4) Human Security–Less political and economic instability
o (5) Sustainability–Less environmental destruction;
o (6) Development–Less poverty and deprivation.
• The fact that globalization exacts its influence at many
different levels as both a source of problems and
opportunities for individuals, societies, and nations
offers psychology an opportunity to make a profound
contribution to understanding and addressing the
challenges posed by globalization and amplify the
opportunities provided by globalization.
55. Jia, Wenshan (2017). Now, Globalization With Chinese Characteristics YaleGlobal Online.
56. China-initiated GlobalizationChiglobalization is “the increasing global relevance, global
presence, global influence, and global leadership of China
in generating a fresh global vision for humanity, in
creating a new model for economic development, in
forging an alternative model of global and domestic
governance, in creating a new model for science and
technology development, and in creating a truly
multiculturalism, interculturalism and pragmatism”;
it “refers to a process of China-led global search for and a
global enlightenment by an alternative mode of life for
humanity on the basis of, but above and beyond, the
Eurocentric model.” (Jia, 2009).
57. Ameriglobalization and Chiglobalization• China has surpassed the US in economics by 15 percent, science and
technology by 31 percent, and comprehensive national power by 36
percent. China’s power in national defense, global influence and the
cultural industry is narrowing the gap with the US (2017).
• “Chinafornia is the fluid ecosystem of entrepreneurs, students, investors,
immigrants, and ideas bouncing back and forth between the Golden State
and the Middle Kingdom” (Sheehan, 2017).
• Chinafornia illustrates that, like the rest of the world, Ameriglobalization is
feeding into Chiglobalization, mostly at the grassroots level.
• Donald Trump’s presidential campaign focused on domestic affairs, and his
reported handover of leadership in solving the Northeast Asia security to
China may be interpreted as a pragmatic gesture to cede the baton of
globalization to China. And his abandonment of the Trans-Pacific
Partnership, crafted by the Obama administration to contain
Chiglobalization, may hurt America’s soft power in the short term, but will
probably help accelerate Chiglobalization.
58. Path towards Global Leadership• China is on the path towards global leadership with
initiatives like “One Belt, One Road”, proposed by
Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, that is a plan to
invest $1 trillion as seed money and attract an
additional $9 trillion for infrastructure construction
around the world, particularly Asia.
• China has a core strategy. Instead of building military
bases around the world like the US, China is relying on
comprehensive strategies of communication and
connectivity ranging from politics to finance, from
infrastructure and trade to culture and religion to
construct zones of economic cooperation and centers
of cultural exchanges.
59. Perspectives of Chiglobalization• In the meantime, China learned a lesson from the negative experience of
rejecting Anglobalization and Ameriglobalization and the positive
experience of embracing them later on.
• Based upon the strengths of its predecessors such as the neoliberal world
order, Chiglobalization could define and sustain a new wave of
globalization and global governance with the Chinese accent in
the 21st century as more benign, both more equal and equitable, more
open and pluralistic, more peaceful and harmonious than its predecessors.
• Given China’s core value of groupism, Chiglobalization coincides with
multilateralism, a kind of co-globalization, and even Chiglocalization –
encompassing re-modernization and re-globalization in the form of
infrastructure improvements for developed countries and brand-new
modernization for developing countries.
• Every nation should have a chance to ride this new wave of globalization.
60. New insights and further development of the field
61. Selected papers
Andrew Whiten, Christine A Caldwell and Alex Mesoudi. Cultural diffusion in
humans and other animals
Cristina Moya and Joseph Henrich. Culture–gene coevolutionary psychology:
cultural learning, language, and ethnic psychology
Yoshihisa Kashima. Cultural dynamics
Barbara Rogoff. Culture and participation: a paradigm shift
Marsella, A. (2012). Psychology and Globalization: Understanding a Complex
Relationship. The Journal of Social Issues, 68(3), 454–472.