Introduction, Aim, Objectives and Scope of Cross Cultural Psychology
1. Introduction, Aim, Objectives and Scope of Cross Cultural Psychology
Bilal Anwaar, 191065
Department of Psychology, M.A.O College.
APSY-241, Cross Cultural Psychology.
May 18, 2020
Cross-cultural psychology is the critical and comparative study of cultural
effects on human psychology. There are two important elements of this definition. First,
this is a comparative field. Any study in cross-cultural psychology draws its conclusions
from at least two samples that represent at least two cultural groups. Second, because cross-
cultural psychology inherently involves comparisons, and the act of comparison requires a
particular set of critical skills, the study of cross-cultural psychology is inseparable from
critical thinking. Cross-cultural psychology examines psychological diversity and the
underlying reasons for such diversity. Cross-cultural psychology attempts not only to
distinguish differences between groups but also to establish psychological universals and
phenomena common to all people and groups.
One important thing to discuss here is the difference between cultural and cross
2. Cultural psychology seeks to discover meaningful links between a culture and the
psychology of individuals living in a particular culture. For instance, a cultural psychologist
may be interested in describing how Islam affects both the behaviour and attitudes of young
couples in Pakistan. Cultural psychology advocates the idea that behaviour and mental
processes are essentially the products of an interaction between culture and the
individual. While on the other hand, cross cultural psychology draws difference and compare
similarities between two or more cultures.
The aim of cross culture psychology includes the study of cultural difference as well as
cultural similarities among different cultures using regress research methods. The research is
cross cultural psychology covers broad range of topics including child development, social
perception and social cognition, gender role, intergroup behaviour, ethnocentrism, emotion,
language, culturalism, multiculturalism and communication etc. Psychologists not only study
the cross cultural difference, but also apply the yielded knowledge in different fields of life
like clinical (people from different cultures might perceive differently) and organizational (to
manage cultural diversity across the organization).
Following are the objectives of cross cultural psychology:
To test generality of psychological theories and knowledge across two or more
To understand cultural variations among Western and Non-Western cultures.
To integrate results of general and specific psychological findings to a universal
psychology that is valid for a broad range of various cultures.
To apply and to test existing theories in various cultural settings to validate their
applicability and generalisability.
To make conclusion about human’s behaviour that is manifested universally.
To explore and establish understanding of the deeply rooted psychological
phenomenon in particular cultural context.
Cross cultural psychology covers wide range of behaviour exhibit by individuals
within that culture, few of them are the following:
Developmental process: Human development is how people change over time on
many different levels—biological, physical, cognitive, emotional, and social.
Development refers to changes that show greater complexity, organization, and
competencies. Accruing greater perception, balance, and spatial skills as a young
child that enable you to go from crawling to walking, is an example of development.
Cross cultural psychology tries to explain human development is whether
developmental pathways are universal or culture specific.
Cognition: Cross-cultural research on cognition highlights some interesting and
important cultural similarities and differences in the ways people think. There appears
to be universality in cognitive processes such as hindsight bias and regrets over
4. inaction as opposed to action. At the same time, there are interesting cultural
differences in perception and attention, categorization, some memory tasks, math
abilities, problem solving, the factors that enhance creativity, and dialectical thinking.
Review cross-cultural research across a broad spectrum of cognitive processes,
beginning with attention, sensation, and perception, and then moving to higher-order
processes such as categorization, memory, math, and thinking styles.
Gender: Culture influences the behaviours associated with being male or female, and
events around the world have brought international attention to gender issues. From
the role of women in Muslim culture to global concern over female circumcision in
Africa and Asia—gender roles, ideals, and expectations are heated topics widely
discussed around the world.
Emotion: Emotions are elicited as we scan our environments for events that may
have consequences to our welfare. We evaluate the events that we perceive to see if
the event has consequences to our welfare and requires immediate response. If such
an event does not occur, we continue to scan our environments, constantly searching
for and evaluating such events. If and when such an event is perceived, it triggers
an emotion so that we can react and adapt quickly and efficiently.
Language & Communication: The evolution of human cultures is associated with
the evolution of the ability for verbal language in humans. Human cultures are
constructed from an understanding of shared intentionality, and language facilitates
the creation of shared intentionality. while the ability to have language is universal to
humans, each culture creates its own unique language. And in fact, language
differences reflect important differences between cultures, and they also help to
5. Personality: Over the years, scientists have identified and studied many specific
aspects of personality within this broad definition, and we believe that it’s helpful to
understand the broad concept of personality along multiple levels of analysis.
Psychopathology: Culture adds an important dimension to abnormality.
Incorporating culture into our psychological theories and concepts raises a number of
significant issues with regard to psychological disorders. Cross cultural psychology
identifies the role of culture in the assessment of psychological disorders, examine the
classification schemes currently in use, and explore some issues surrounding the
actual measurement of abnormality.
Self & Identity: The concept of self is an important first step to exploring
social behaviour because it organizes information about oneself. Moreover, the
concept of self is intimately related to our concepts of others. In fact, we cannot create
a sense of self without being able to discriminate ourselves from others. It is in
recognizing that we are part of a social group, living with others, that we first
differentiate what our own sense of self is. A topic related to self is that of identity.
Social Behaviour: While the need for affiliation is universal, how people address that
need and interact with others can be different depending on their culture. Fortunately,
this is one of the richest areas of research in cultural psychology and there is much to
Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology: Cross-cultural psychology provides valuable
data and suggestions to psychotherapy. Psychological knowledge can be useful in
international diplomacy and negotiation, advertising, and marketing. Specialists in
cross-cultural psychology can help thousands of migrants adjust in a new cultural
environment. Psychologists believe that as intercultural contacts increase in all parts
of the world, interest in this area of cross-cultural training will multiply.