Theories of Personality (PSY 225-A01)/Chapter 13

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Culture[edit | edit source]

  • Shared values and beliefs of a particular group
  • Societal institutions: the government, educational institutions - varies between different cultures.

History of Role of Culture on Personality[edit | edit source]

  • Cultural anthropology - studying different cultures
    • Ethnocentrism - In-group [groups I am a part of] / out-group [groups I'm not a part of]; we tend to see similarities in members of our out-group, and see differences in members of our in-group.
      • Ethnocentral: we focus on our own ethnicity.
    • Em[measuring the culture]ic / Et[cross: cross-cultural]ic approach - [culture specific (focusing on one's culture) / cross-cultural (looking for cross-cultural generalities)].
  • Individualistic and collectivistic: western / eastern cultures. In an individualistic culture, we are expected to take responsibility and take pride in our own actions. In a collectivistic culture, individuals focus more on the group's success. Collectivistic cultures may view individualistic cultures as arrogant for their pride in their own actions. Differences do NOT equal deficits!
    • Specific setting - cooperation [collectivistic] vs. competition [individualistic]. We need to remember that the role of the setting/group configuration matters in terms of how a person behaves. Cannot make broad judgments based on group membership.

Race and Ethnicity[edit | edit source]

Race and ethnicity aren't really agreed upon [in terms of their differences].

  • Race: shared physical characteristics, skin color [but there are white Africans?]. Race takes place in the context of culture.
  • Ethnic socialization: minority blends into the majority culture. Balancing pride in your ethnic culture and socialization within the "primary-majority" culture. Both can take place!
    • Viewing traits as stable (I am who I am) --> viewing traits as stable. More likely to maintain stereotypes.

Religion[edit | edit source]

  • Review perspectives and their attitude towards faith; also look at particular religions and assess the role of personality.
    • Religion views: psychoanalytic --> anti-religious, behaviorism --> based on environmental contingencies, religion doesn't exist but we have been conditioned for these beliefs; Jung believed it was part of the collective unconscious. The humanistic perspective takes spiritual matters into account [self-actualization].
    • ...plays a role in discipline, being healthier (social support from mosques/churches), prohibitions against bad behavior (alcohol, weed).

Economic Structures[edit | edit source]

  • Capitalism and consumerism vs. self-fulfillment [self-actualization] and community - falls into alienation. Marx suggested that alienation and selfishness were due to the economic structures of capitalism. Fromm is from the humanistic perspective ('love is life!'). He suggested that alienation came from increased consumerism.

Language[edit | edit source]

  • Idiolect vs. Dialect
    • An individual's variation in their speech (linguistic variations when it comes to the authors of the Bible); dialects (American vs. British; Indian Tamil vs. Moor Tamil).
  • Role of shared languages
    • Deaf culture: share a language, excluded from spoken language - a culture is created from itself.
  • Bilingualism - speaking two languages is associated with reflecting the two cultures of those languages. When Chinese-Americans were studied (that were bilingual) - when one culture became more relevant, they reflected that culture. Personality tests in different languages respond differently depending on the language.
    • Social interaction - Informal vs. formal.
    • Gender - Languages have genders (die, das, der); personal pronouns (he/she, now "they" is being normalized).

Politics[edit | edit source]

Speaking English is an inherent part of American culture, some may view this as racist. On the other hand, France has an official language: French!

Thought[edit | edit source]

Language can reflect the worldview of the culture (Japanese vs. English). Linguistic relativity is the idea that the interpretation of the world depends upon classifications of our language. Field independence is related to using more active verbs, these people have a less passive perception: Whether language drives our perception or the other way around.

Culture and Testing[edit | edit source]

  • Culture-free & culture-fair tests: We need to appropriately account for different cultures (culture-specific tests). Avoid culture-deficit errors when comparing cultures. To assess whether a culture test is fair, have a sub-scale that is culture-specific and another sub-scale that attempts to be cross-culture. Then we assess the differences as seen.
  • Stereotype threat - compromises or enhance (stereotype-lift) when identification with a specific group is linked to certain stereotypes (females aren't very good at math compared to males).
    • Individuals will perform poorly if they feel threatened by the stereotype (Asian-American females who were gifted at math: two stereotypes battling each other. In this study, they were randomly assigned to two groups: stereotypes reminded of their Asian stereotype vs. math stereotype. Conclusion? Positive stereotypes performed better than negative stereotypes).