07082011_02_What+is+Cultural+Psychology

07082011_02_What+is+Cultural+Psychology -...

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Lecture 2 What is  Cultural Psychology Psych166AC:  Cultural Psychology
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Recap Concepts from Wed.  Culture “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 well-being,  and derive meaning from life.” Ethnicity Ethnicity refers to a social group’s distinct sense of  belongingness as a result of common culture and descent (J.M.  Jones, 1992). Race Historically, study race based on contrived or visible physical  difference between groups of people, such as skin color, hair  texture/color, or population gene frequencies… 2
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Culture and Psychology Paul DiMaggio once claimed “ psychology  (is) essentially irrelevant to the study of  culture ”. But we want to claim that psychology is  not just relevant to the study of culture,  as a matter of fact, psychology is  essential to the study of culture because  human psychology constitutes the core  nature of cultures. 3
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What is Psychology The science of mind and behavior (Merriam- Webster) The scientific study of the human mind and its  functions, esp. those affecting behavior in a given  context. Through such studies, psychologists have learned  much that can help people fulfill their potential  as human beings and increase understanding  between individuals, groups, nations, and  cultures.  4
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1 . Why Psychology is important        to Culture? Recall the definition of  Culture “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 well- being, and derive meaning from life.” Why human psychology constitutes the core  nature of cultures:  Human culture is unique • Human culture can be learnt and it is changing • Origin of culture and human nature 5
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1. 1  Human culture is unique The nature of human beings make  human culture is dramatically different  from the cultures of animals human is smart: larger brain size human can understand intention: theory  of mind 6
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Size Matters • Must have a cultural brain, i.e. a brain capable of storing a  good amount of information. • Brain size in humans is not largest.  • Overall brain size: not largest • Relative (to body weight) brain size: not largest Encephalization  quotient (EQ):  Actual relative brain size / Expected relative brain  size determined by body  size alone  (Roth, 2003) 7
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The social brain: Evolution and Pathology. Chichester: Wiley. 8
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This note was uploaded on 08/15/2011 for the course PSYCH 166AC taught by Professor Peng during the Summer '11 term at Berkeley.

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07082011_02_What+is+Cultural+Psychology -...

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