Cultural Psychology

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Summary and Analysis

The video “cultural psychology” in YouTube is about the manner in which culture shapes our sense of self, the way we view the world, how we interpret behavior and how we experience psychological distress. Culture gets determined by the type of clothes we wear, languages we speak, what we eat, our way of worship, our way of life, ways of play, the art we create, the rituals, dances, and dialects, how we relate to others, how we interpret behavior, etc. In a study conducted on how people of East Asia and North America interpret behaviors, discovered that there is a significant difference. The study employed a method in which cartoons of fish to represent social interaction. In the study, subjects got asked what a fish in the group represent. America subjects were found to pay attention to individual fish, individual movement and individual desires whereas Asian subjects emphasize on group movements. The subjects also got asked on a fish on its own. Americans subjects said that the single fish isolated itself from the group whereas the Asian subjects blame the group for separating the individual fish.

Considering that we have fundamental differences on how we interpret other people’s behavior, how do we view our sense of self and behavior? Studies show that how we make sense of the world depends in large part on who we think we are and what we think is our role in the world as we engage with our cultural meaning and practices.

Culture can shape behavior and the behavior also shapes cultures in the way of behavior, making products and putting them into the world and acting. The process of shaping and been shaped is known as the mutual constitution. Two possible modes of being are independent (common among Americans and Western Europe people) and interdependent (Asian societies). Americans individuals think of themselves as responsible for behavior as in control the world by influencing others. The differences of our cultural perspectives get attributed to various factors. For example, in East Asia Buddhism emphasizes on sympathy, compassion, and transcendence beyond individual desire. Different societies also have different understandings of self. Americans describe themselves to have four positive attributes to every negative attitude. Japanese people describe themselves in a way that they meet high standards of the group and try to improve themselves rather than get ahead of others. African American culture gets characterized by speechmaking, song, and preaching. In African American culture, spirituality has a remarkable serenity and strength since they believe it assists them to cope with the injustices of their society. The American Indian tribes have a unique sense of community that’s why they are still in existence as a group and express themselves in many spiritual understandings and practices. The tradition of sharing among the tribe members is still a common practice, unlike other communities.

I chose the video since the cultural behavior influences our lives and social interaction significantly. It is important to understand the cultural psychology of different societies so as to live in coercion.

The video “cultural psychology” is greatly related to Ethnic Studies since it explains the differences in our individual cultures as well as perceptions of the world. By understanding individual cultures and behaviors is important that the present societies so as to enable us to adapt to other people’s culture. The video assists in understanding ethnicity since it explains why different societies behavior in a particular way.

The most important lesson of the video is that there exist a difference in our cultures and behaviors. The lack of acceptance of certain societies by another society can result in adverse consequences such as depression and psychological distress. Therefore, the community should understand and respect the way in which certain people perceive the world and integrate their culture into theirs.



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