Questions and Answers about Cultural Bias in Psychology

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uppladdat: 2005-04-10
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"What is the fundamental source of cultural bias in psychology?"
23.) As explained in the text, the fundamental source of cultural bias in psychology is that the western theory provides an inadequate basis for the explanation of cross-cultural behaviours. These changes have to be reflected and responded by psychological theory. A given example is individualism. This notion is very preferred and encouraged in the western culture. However, in places like Africa, specifically Malawi, the notion is not at all of desire, even threatening the overall well-being of the community. This is like a developing country (such as Africa) adopting theories and notions from a developed country (say Sweden). Firstly, the differences in lifestyles and livings will clash with the developed theories, as the routines are very different in these countries. Secondly, people in Malawi will face consequences of the western application, as these people aren’t as a collective, identical or even close to the westerns. When minds, communities/societies and even general rules are different, it seems impossible for different applications being adopted to ‘odd’ countries.

"Why can´t psychology no longer afford to be culturally biased?"
24.) Psychology can no longer afford to be culturally biased because the psychological concepts are increasing and broadening to the reality of cultural diversity. This means that the increase of multicultural influence and inhabiting is becoming more usual, which supports the theory of assumed universality, the “universal acceptance in relevance to psychology and scientific method”-assumption. Although the multicultural influence is preferred to stay concealed, psychology no longer holds a position of a single native stand. Psychology is moving towards the solution of culturally biased and by that, expanding and developing the understanding of mankind in a more specific, detailed and precise approach. As there are various people with different backgrounds and cultures, a more simultaneous and variety of theories within psychology are necessary.

"What is meant by the term ´indigenous psychology´?"
25.) Indigenous psychology is a term given for when culture is given authority (primacy) in understanding and interpreting behaviour. The concept of indigenous psychology would provide culturally valid theories and valuable contributions.

26.) An example given from the actual text which I would want to use is Turkey (of course). According to the text, not only that psychology is developing quickly in Turkey, being influenced by the western practices and theories, but the text highlights the cultural inappropriateness such as;

conceptualisations of mental health
child development
family gesture

So my understanding of this whole concept is, that the conceptions of mental health are inappropriate in cultural senses in relevance to the western culture because of current values of mental health, and the benefiting from the legislation (which happens to exist in the western culture) that the Turkish culture doesn’t agree upon. This, being the reason that mental health in the Turkish culture isn’t as easy to benefit from in legal basis, as it is in the western culture. Therefore, I would agree that the Turkish conceptualisations of mental health is inappropriate in relevance to the western culture.

This is a pretty vague argument made about the Turkish culture, considering the current culture, which has for the past few years progressed extremely. I don’t personally agree with the inappropriate statement made in relevance to the western culture because children in Turkey today are similar to the ‘western’ children, which might not have been the case previously. However in today’s conditions, I don’t see why the western culture for child development being adopted to the Turkish culture would be inappropriate. The Turkish and western environment and understanding/interpreting child development aren’t far off from each other as issues and theories at all.

Again, this text seems to have been applied a few years ago, which during the mean time, changes have occurred/are still occurring in Turkey. Though, in today’s implication, family gesture isn’t as different from the western culture as it strictly used to be. The actual family structure remains the same in the average Turkey, but even the family gesture is on its way of becoming more and more of western culture. Of course, this depends on what is meant by “family gesture”, which could be a vast topic. Family gesture, in the meaning of the actual family structure remains more or less the same. However, morals, thoughts and values of family is slightly changing. This is not identical to the western culture; it is also not moving away from the western culture.

In the contrary, western notion reflects much on the ‘inappropriateness’ – in another meaning, negativity towards the cultural psychologies, showing glimpse of cultural bias in psychology.

27.) Gender bias is inherent in the research process, which consists of question formulation, research design, data analysis and interpretation, and conclusion formulation. These are stereotyped and incorrect statements of women and experiences of women which are of discrimination towards women and might cause severe grievance for the treatment of women.

• Stage 1 Question formulation Gender stereotyping – biased question formulation
• Stage 2 Research methods Stereotypic assumptions – no generalisations
• Stage 3 Data analysis and interpretation Gender differences – no report otherwise
• Stage 4 Conclusions Differential opportunities – statistical significant sex differences

Gender bias has since early history played a big role in psychology, but this was mainly because of physical differences and appearances. Males were considered as strong and therefore superior to females; body structure, physical appearance being weaker than males. Thus, today psychology has explored more about the females stronger sides, these including emotional and behavioural. Gender bias is current, but it is not suggesting females inferior to males or vice versa. Today’s gender bias is supporting the idea of observations based on male samples. This is obviously not right nor right path and should change rapidly.

"How is the psychological concept of power gender biased?"
28.) The psychological concept of power is gender biased as power and leadership attempts to describe and image males. These include characteristics of males as well as assumptions of leaders being quite masculine. Women have as leaders been described as “taking care of-“ which brings about a weak stand for leadership – as it is considered as the identical characteristics of men. This power would remain exclusive to the male gender and the different five types of power (French and Raven, 1959): Expert power, Referent power, Reward power, Coercive power, and Legitimate power, are all adapted and focused on male leaders, excluding the idea of female leaders which image is not as easy to picture. This because the imaginary tools aren’t given – a picture of a woman leader is excluded. This has been the case since the ancient history but I do believe that the increase of female leaders will prove some of these male-directed assumptions wrong and will also prove that the gender bias is another way of discrimination – which we in psychology wouldn’t accept/ or be a fond of.

"How can gender bias be reduced?"
29.) In order to reduce gender bias, psychologists can in psychological researches:

Abandon sex dif...

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Inactive member [2005-04-10]   Questions and Answers about Cultural Bias in Psychology
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