cult ch3 notes


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CHAPTER 3 – METHODS FOR STUDYING CULTURE AND PSYCHOLOGY One implicit understanding that is involved with survey methodology is that each of the questions is independent; the different questions do not necessarily take on the form of a conversation; researchers rely on this convention, and the result of it is that one standard methodological technique used in survey research is to ask participants a number of items that vary slightly about the same issue Psychometric benefits for asking people similar questions over and over again, reduces concerns with random error, and ensures that people’s responses are with respect to the underlying construct and not to various tangential aspects of each item; Zinacantecans approached Greenfield’s survey with an expectation that their interaction would follow their conversational norms: when you give an answer to someone’s question, the questioner then doesn’t just ignore your answer and go ahead and ask another question that sounds almost the same as before It is extremely challenging to collect sound and compelling evidence for psychological phenomena, as these are by nature elusive, abstract, and invisible Research has revealed that we often don’t really know how we feel, what we have remembered, whether we’ve enjoyed a task, or the reasons we like something; it is for these reasons that experimental psychologists rarely investigate psychological processes by asking their subjects directly about their experiences; people are usually able to come up with answers to such questions, often are quite convinced are true, but in many situations, that people’s answers can be outright wrong If we don’t have good access to our own psychological experiences, consider how much more difficult it is to try to discern someone else’s psychological experiences; problem for cultural psychologists is that these difficulties are multiplied many times over when trying to understand the minds of people from another culture Two central themes, goal of many cultural studies is either to demonstrate similarities across cultures in the ways that people think(thereby reflecting universal psychological tendencies)or to demonstrate cultural differences(thereby reflecting culturally shaped psychological tendencies); for those ways of thinking in which cultural differences emerge, many studies are designed with the express purpose of understanding how people’s different experiences in their cultures resulted in their different ways of thinking Considerations for Conducting Research Across Cultures Because the study of culture’s influence on psychological processes cuts across virtually all subfields of human psychology, researchers often utilize methods that are commonly used in the study of those subfields Problem for cultural psychologists is that not only do they inherit the standard ambiguities of whatever methods they adopt from other subfields of psychology, but that many of these methods
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