Cultural Bias In Psychology

Mind Map by , created over 6 years ago

A-Levels PY4 (Controversies) Mind Map on Cultural Bias In Psychology, created by Hayd23 on 05/27/2013.

Created by Hayd23 over 6 years ago
Approaches to Profiling
Decision Making of Juries
Controversy - Definitions
foundation of economics
Everybody's Mother
Rachel Lory
PY4 Controversy Definitions
Genes vs. Environment
Gender Bias In Psychology
Cultural Bias in Psychology
Scientific Benefits Vs. Ethical Costs
Cultural Bias In Psychology
1 Alpha bias
1.1 assumes there are real and enduring differences between cultural groups
1.1.1 example Takano and Osaka (1999) reviewed 15 studies that compared the US and Japan in terms or individualism/collectivism


  • Individualism - the principle of being independent  collectivism - the principle of giving a group priority over each individual found 14/15 studies did NOT support the common view we would expect members of individualist cultures to be less conformist because they are less orientated towards group norms
2 Beta bias
2.1 ignores or minimises cultural differences
2.1.1 example intelligence tests are devised by Western psychologists who assume that their view of intelligence applies to all cultures equally when such tests are used on non-Western cultures, they may appear less intelligent
3 Ethnocentrism
3.1 the use of our own ethnic/cultural group as a basis for judgements about other groups
3.2 a tendency to view the beliefs, customs and behaviours of our own group as 'normal', whereas those of other groups are 'strange'
3.3 Cultural Relativism
3.3.1 all cultures are equally worthy of respect and that in studying another culture we need to try to understand the way that a particular culture sees the world
3.4 Eurocentrism
3.4.1 a form of ethnocentrism but emphasis is on Western/European theories and ideas, at the expense of other cultures
4 Bias in studies
4.1 most psychological research is carried out on Americans
4.1.1 Smith and Bond (1998) - 66% American, 32% European, 2% rest of the world
4.1.2 Sears (1986) - 82% undergraduates, 51% psychology students
4.2 psychology findings are not only unrepresentative on a global scale, but also within Western culture
5 Indigenous psychologies
5.1 'psychology' has traditionally meant Western psychology, with the assumption that psychological knowledge can be applied to the whole of humankind because it holds true in Western society
5.2 psychology has created the need for an alternative view of human behaviour
5.2.1 one based on indigenous (native) cultures
5.2.2 most of this research is done in Asia Yamagishi (2002) - there are more social psychologists in Asia than in Europe but almost absent in Africa South Africa has a Western individualist conception of psychology, and fails to reflect it's collectivist indigenous culture 90% of psychologists are white, 13% of the population are white
5.3 Afrocentrism
5.3.1 a movement whose central proposition is that all blacks have their roots in Africa and that psychological theories must be African-centred and must express African values
5.3.2 disputes the view that European values are universally appropriate descriptions of human behaviour that apply equally to Europeans and non-Europeans alike
5.3.3 suggests values and cultures of Europeans devalue non-European people and are irrelevant to the life and culture of Africans
6 The emic-etic distinction
6.1 The emic approach
6.1.1 emphasises the uniqueness of every culture by focussing on culturally specific phenomena
6.1.2 typically involves indigenous researchers studying their own cultural group
6.1.3 findings tend to be significant only to the understanding of behaviour within that culture
6.2 The etic approach
6.2.1 assumes that human behaviour is universal
6.2.2 study behaviour from outside a culture and produce findings that are considered to have universal application in psychology
6.2.3 HOWEVER derived etic acknowledges the role of cultural factors and recognises that human behaviour differs from one culture to another and the use of methods from other cultures is inappropriate imposed etic where cultural influences are ignored assessments are made using standard (Western) instruments, and interpretations made at face value

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