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In this chapter, we will briefly examine some of the issues facing personality psychologists who wish to examine personality development in a sociocultural context. The United States, Canada, and Western Europe represent only about one tenth of the world’s population. Ralph Linton, a renowned anthropologist with an interest in cultural influences on personality (see Linton, 1945), also edited a book entitled Most of the World: The Peoples of Africa, Latin America, and the East Today (Linton, 1949). Thus, it is essential that we consider the influence of different cultures around the world if we are going to claim that we have really examined human personality in all its variations.

Cultural Studies in the Field of Psychology

Since the 1990s, a number of general books on psychology and culture have been available (e.g., Brislin, 2000; Lonner&Malpass, 1994; Matsumoto, 1994, 1997; Matsumoto&Juang, 2004; Okun, Fried,&Okun, 1999; Price&Crapo, 2002; Segall et al., 1990). Although all of these books address topics such as the “self” and person-perception, and other various aspects of personality, only a few of them devote an actual chapter or section to the topic of personality itself (Matsumoto&Juang, 2004; Price&Crapo, 2002; Segall et al., 1990), and in each case the topics are fairly specific. There is, however, some older literature on the relationships between culture, society, and personality. We will examine that research in the second part of this section. First, let us examine some of the general principles of incorporating cross-cultural perspectives into the study of personality.

The Challenges of Cultural Research

The first problem faced by those who are interested in the study of culture and personality is the question: what exactly is to be studied? At the most basic level, there are two types of research. Cross-cultural research typically refers to either parallel studies being conducted in different cultures, or similar concepts being studied in different cultures. In contrast, intercultural research is the study of individuals of different cultures interacting with one another (Brislin, 2000; Matsumoto&Juang, 2004; Segall et al., 1990). As you will see in later chapters, some personality theorists consider interpersonal relationships to be the only true domain for studying individual personality. While most of the research done in psychology has been cross-cultural, as the world becomes more and more of a global community the opportunity for, and importance of, intercultural research is rapidly expanding.

Another fundamental problem with the study of culture is our attention to it, or rather, the lack of attention we pay to something that is so deeply ingrained in our daily lives. Richard Brislin suggests the following exercise: write down three answers for someone from a different culture who asks “What should I know about your culture so that we can understand each other better?” (pg. 10; Brislin, 2000). Because we simply take our cultural influences for granted, it proves quite difficult for us to think that they need to be identified or explained. For example, freedom of speech is a cherished right in America. Consequently, we often speak our minds. If I am upset about some new college policy, I might say very negative things about the administration of our college, even about particular administrators. It does not mean I intend to be disrespectful, or that I dislike those individuals, or that I won’t say positive things about them when I agree with the next new policy. It is simply an expression of one of the great freedoms in our society: the right to speak out. However, someone from a different culture, particularly a collectivist culture, might be shocked at my apparent disrespect toward my “superiors.”

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Personality theory in a cultural context. OpenStax CNX. Nov 04, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11901/1.1
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