Lecture 15 July 28, 2010 Culture and Cognition

Lecture 15 July 28, 2010 Culture and Cognition - Culture...

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1 Culture and Cognition Lecture #15 July 28, 2010
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2 Strongly Held Assumptions about Cognition 1. Basic cognitive processes are universal 2. Processes work the same way regardless of the content that they operate on 3. General learning and inferential processes are necessary and sufficient 4. The content of the human mind is indefinitely variable
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3 Current View 1. Some cognitive processes are highly susceptible to change, even for adults 2. Cultures differ markedly in the type of inferential procedures they typically use 3. Traditional distinction between content and processes seems somewhat arbitrary 4. Cultural practices and cognitive processes constitute one another
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4 Cultural Schemas Schema: Knowledge structures that serve to organize experiences in a given domain Cultural Schemas: Patterns of basic schemas that make up the meaning systems of a cultural group (e.g., raising a family) Cultural Models: Shared cultural schemas Govern how people interpret their experiences and help guide their behaviors
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5 Example: Family Schemas Nuclear Family Extended Family
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6 Cultural Differences Major cultural difference in emphasis on holistic vs. analytic reasoning East Asian cultures = holistic Western cultures = analytic
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7 Holistic Reasoning Attention to field in which the object is located Preference for predicting and explaining behavior using object-field relationships Reliance on experiential knowledge rather than formal rules of logic Dialectical: embraces change, contradiction, multiple perspectives, the “Middle Way”
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8 Analytic Reasoning Attention to object and its attributes Detachment of the object from its field Preference for predicting and explaining behavior using rules about categories Reliance on use of formal logic and the law of noncontradiction
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9 What Accounts for These Cultural Differences in Reasoning Styles? Ancient Chinese Agrarian society Strong sense of social obligation and collective agency Ingroup harmony Ancient Greek Nomadic (e.g., herding, fishing, hunting) Sense of individualism and freedom Personal agency Social and Economic Structures
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10 Social Psychological Differences
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This note was uploaded on 02/14/2011 for the course ECON 151A taught by Professor Miller during the Spring '06 term at UC Davis.

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Lecture 15 July 28, 2010 Culture and Cognition - Culture...

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