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Culture and Psychological Functioning

Many of the social cognitive processes discussed in this course so far describe the impact of social stimuli on one's cognitive processing. In the fields of social cognition and social psychology, increasing the interaction between culture and social cognitive processing is gaining greater attention. Culture clearly impacts language, political systems, legal systems, educational systems, care-taking practices, and media. It stands to reason that culture also influences social cognitive structures such as attitudes and stereotypes. consider the role culture plays on overall psychological functioning and how it impacts social cognitive processing. Select two articles in which investigate research approaches used to explain the connection between culture and psychological functioning, and consider the impact of each approach on social cognitive processing.

An explanation of two research approaches used to explain the connection between culture and psychological functioning.

Explain two ways culture might impact social cognitive processing.

Explain two ways social cognitive processes may evolve in response to exposure to different cultures.

Support your response by using the articles you selected. Be sure to include one Cultural experiences as an example.


Handbook of Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination
Chapter 3, "Intergroup Threat Theory"
Chapter 19, "Racism in the 21st Century"

Article: Cheung, R. Y .M., & Park, I. J. K. (2010). Anger suppression, interdependent self-construal, and depression among Asian American and European American college students. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 16(4), 517-525.

Article: Clark, A. E., & Kashima, Y. (2003). Stereotype maintenance in communication: How perceptions of stereotype sharedness contribute to the stereotype content of interpersonal communication. Australian Journal of Psychology, 55(Suppl.), 38.

Article: Conway, L. G., Schaller, M., Tweed, R. G., & Hallett, D. (2001). The complexity of thinking across cultures: Interactions between culture and situational context. Social Cognition, 19(3), 228-250. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the PsycINFO database. .

Article: Cuddy, A. J. C., Fiske, S. T., Kwan, V. S. Y., Glick, P., Demoulin, S., Leyens, J. P., Bonds, M. H.,...Ziegler, R. (2009). Stereotype content model across cultures: Towards universal similarities and some differences. British Journal of Social Psychology, 48(1), 1-33.

Article: Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (2010). Cultures and selves: A cycle of mutual constitution. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5(4), 420-430.

Article: Zebrowitz, L. A., Kikuchi, M., & Fellous, J. (2010). Facial resemblance to emotions: Group differences, impression effects, and race stereotypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(2), 175-189.


Social Psychology Network. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.socialpsychology.org

Optional Resources

Article: Balcetis, E., & Dunning, D. A. (2008). A mile in moccasins: How situational experience diminished dispositionism in social inference. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(1), 102-114.

Article: Phelan, J. E., & Rudman, L. A. (2010). Reactions to ethnic deviance: The role of backlash in racial stereotype maintenance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99(2), 265-281.

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Culture & Cognition

How does culture affect the way we make sense of the world, the way we process and store information? Culture is a construct by which we make sense of the world - our beliefs, practices, history, mores, languages and tradition that establishes our morality, how we view right from wrong, how we see ourselves, others and the world. Consider for example the impact of religion. A religious Catholic will judge the world according to the construct of his Catholic practices so that what is right and wrong, what is meaningful and important, what is unessential and unnecessary are defined to him by his beliefs. In 1904, Weber wrote the book 'The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism'. In it he discussed how the practices, beliefs and 'ethics' of Protestants influenced the manner by which they lived their lives, the way they conducted business and accumulated wealth. As a book, its significance is that it shows how culture and the rules of tradition and beliefs construct ways of doing and thinking, affecting the manner in which people make meaning and conduct their lives. Vygotsky (1934) proposed that the language, the ideas and practices of culture shape the ways in which members of that culture think, make meaning or make sense of the world so that culture becomes the manner by which they process reality and adapt to its demands. Making meaning therefore can only happen within culture as ...

Solution Summary

Two research approaches used to explain the connection between culture and psychological function is explained. How culture might impact social cognitive processing is determined. All responses are supported by the articles provided.