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By the end of this section you should be able to:
  • Discuss personality differences of people from collectivist and individualist cultures
  • Discuss the three approaches to studying personality in a cultural context

As you have learned in this chapter, personality is shaped by both genetic and environmental factors. The culture    in which you live is one of the most important environmental factors that shapes your personality (Triandis&Suh, 2002). The term culture    refers to all of the beliefs, customs, art, and traditions of a particular society. Culture is transmitted to people through language as well as through the modeling of culturally acceptable and nonacceptable behaviors that are either rewarded or punished (Triandis&Suh, 2002). With these ideas in mind, personality psychologists have become interested in the role of culture in understanding personality. They ask whether personality traits are the same across cultures or if there are variations. It appears that there are both universal and culture-specific aspects that account for variation in people’s personalities.

Why might it be important to consider cultural influences on personality? Western ideas about personality may not be applicable to other cultures (Benet-Martinez&Oishi, 2008). In fact, there is evidence that the strength of personality traits varies across cultures. Let’s take a look at some of the Big Five factors (conscientiousness, neuroticism, openness, and extroversion) across cultures. As you will learn when you study social psychology, Asian cultures are more collectivist, and people in these cultures tend to be less extroverted. People in Central and South American cultures tend to score higher on openness to experience, whereas Europeans score higher on neuroticism (Benet-Martinez&Karakitapoglu-Aygun, 2003).

According to this study, there also seem to be regional personality differences within the United States ( [link] ). Researchers analyzed responses from over 1.5 million individuals in the United States and found that there are three distinct regional personality clusters: Cluster 1, which is in the Upper Midwest and Deep South, is dominated by people who fall into the “friendly and conventional” personality; Cluster 2, which includes the West, is dominated by people who are more relaxed, emotionally stable, calm, and creative; and Cluster 3, which includes the Northeast, has more people who are stressed, irritable, and depressed. People who live in Clusters 2 and 3 are also generally more open (Rentfrow et al., 2013).

A map of the United States is shown. Above it is the label “Personality Clusters in the Continental United States.” Below it is a legend which defines areas in the map as either, “Cluster 1: friendly, conventional;” “Cluster 2: relaxed, creative;” or “Cluster 3: temperamental, uninhibited.” Cluster 1occurs mainly in the center of the country. Cluster 2 occurs mainly on the west side of the country. Cluster 3 occurs mainly in the North-East region of the country and also in Texas. These are generalizations; there are several states which are comprised of a combination of two different clusters.
Researchers found three distinct regional personality clusters in the United States. People tend to be friendly and conventional in the Upper Midwest and Deep South; relaxed, emotionally stable, and creative in the West; and stressed, irritable, and depressed in the Northeast (Rentfrow et al., 2013).

One explanation for the regional differences is selective migration    (Rentfrow et al., 2013). Selective migration is the concept that people choose to move to places that are compatible with their personalities and needs. For example, a person high on the agreeable scale would likely want to live near family and friends, and would choose to settle or remain in such an area. In contrast, someone high on openness would prefer to settle in a place that is recognized as diverse and innovative (such as California).

Personality in individualist and collectivist cultures

Individualist cultures and collectivist cultures place emphasis on different basic values. People who live in individualist cultures tend to believe that independence, competition, and personal achievement are important. Individuals in Western nations such as the United States, England, and Australia score high on individualism (Oyserman, Coon,&Kemmelmier, 2002). People who live in collectivist cultures value social harmony, respectfulness, and group needs over individual needs. Individuals who live in countries in Asia, Africa, and South America score high on collectivism (Hofstede, 2001; Triandis, 1995). These values influence personality. For example, Yang (2006) found that people in individualist cultures displayed more personally oriented personality traits, whereas people in collectivist cultures displayed more socially oriented personality traits.

Approaches to studying personality in a cultural context

There are three approaches that can be used to study personality in a cultural context, the cultural-comparative approach ; the indigenous approach ; and the combined approach , which incorporates elements of both views. Since ideas about personality have a Western basis, the cultural-comparative approach seeks to test Western ideas about personality in other cultures to determine whether they can be generalized and if they have cultural validity (Cheung van de Vijver,&Leong, 2011). For example, recall from the previous section on the trait perspective that researchers used the cultural-comparative approach to test the universality of McCrae and Costa’s Five Factor Model. They found applicability in numerous cultures around the world, with the Big Five traits being stable in many cultures (McCrae&Costa, 1997; McCrae et al., 2005). The indigenous approach came about in reaction to the dominance of Western approaches to the study of personality in non-Western settings (Cheung et al., 2011). Because Western-based personality assessments cannot fully capture the personality constructs of other cultures, the indigenous model has led to the development of personality assessment instruments that are based on constructs relevant to the culture being studied (Cheung et al., 2011). The third approach to cross-cultural studies of personality is the combined approach, which serves as a bridge between Western and indigenous psychology as a way of understanding both universal and cultural variations in personality (Cheung et al., 2011).

Summary

The culture in which you live is one of the most important environmental factors that shapes your personality. Western ideas about personality may not be applicable to other cultures. In fact, there is evidence that the strength of personality traits varies across cultures. Individualist cultures and collectivist cultures place emphasis on different basic values. People who live in individualist cultures tend to believe that independence, competition, and personal achievement are important. People who live in collectivist cultures value social harmony, respectfulness, and group needs over individual needs. There are three approaches that can be used to study personality in a cultural context: the cultural-comparative approach, the indigenous approach, and the combined approach, which incorporates both elements of both views.

Personal application questions

According to the work of Rentfrow and colleagues, personalities are not randomly distributed. Instead they fit into distinct geographic clusters. Based on where you live, do you agree or disagree with the traits associated with yourself and the residents of your area of the country? Why or why not?

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Questions & Answers

What is meant by politics of intelligence? Please guide about this article.
Ali Reply
***scholar.google.com/scholar?q=politics+of+intelligence&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3D_ckggUkdkPUJ
Angela
Thanks angela
Ali
Can u please explain it to me in your words?
Ali
Information about child psychology
Mohammed Reply
what is this
Maryam
any theory recommendations about socialization?
Geo
help me please:<
Geo
actually I don't know
Maryam
I badly need some for my research :<
Geo
But I need that😥
Mohammed
***courses.lumenlearning.com /boundless-sociology/chapter/theories-of-socialization/
Jobin
branches of psychology
QSN Reply
neuropsychology
jeddy
behaviorism
Mira
Legal psychology
Miljana
Developmental psychology, Sports psychology , Clinical psychology , Marketing psychology , counseling psychology , Biological psychology, Educational psychology , Positive psychology etc.
Swarada
child.psychology
Nss
social, occupational psychology
jeddy
what does it mean when the temporal lobe is anterior to occipital lobe
John Reply
the cortex refers to what part of the brain
John
the cortex refers to what part of the brain
John
cerebral cortex
jeddy
behind?
jeddy
in what time of situation is training most useful?
marjelee Reply
during bad experience
Nyakuei
i think its not about suitation, its about the thing tatz need training.
gokul
training is possibly warranted for all situations.
rhoda
I would think that training should be an ungoing thing. That's before, during and after. just in case there's a reoccurrence
Angela
any time
Aaronz
what is Karma
ana Reply
I think the summation of good and bad deeds you do in your life. Accidentally or otherwise.
Swarada
Yes. I totally agree.
ana
And if it is bad then the root must have been too.
ana
Yes , In Hinduism we also believe that our parent's Karma also applies to us ! Don't know about that , but it kept people in check .
Swarada
Adding to Swarada point. karma can be good or bad. both will have consequences. karma is biasedness you have shown in your life. like a king could not have two rules for normal man and his son, that comes under karma.
Sujeet
Oh perfectly said!
Swarada
Ok. It is also said that when one does something... bad or good..it will come back to you 10 folds of the same.
ana
yea that too ! I remember my mother always said if u stole someone's 10 rupees ur 100 will be stolen ( excuse my English ! I'm a non - English speaking person)
Swarada
karma is nothing but what one usually mean when they say- what you sow, so shall you reap.
Alisha
certainly
Crazy
more important.. this concept was told by lord Krishna as part of spirituality, to focus on your good deed ,the purpose you are born for and your responsibilities. Not for hoping that bad will happen with people who made you feel bad. just giving example ;)
Sujeet
karma is the boomerang of your actions. what u put out in the universe u get back
David
Who is the founder of psychology
Daryl Reply
Wilhelm wundt
Amanda
Wilhelm Wundt
Sneha
William wundth
Ihrar
Wilhelm Wundt
Megha
and William James
Amanda
Wilhelm Wundt
adam
Wilhelm Wundt is the founder of structuralism
Angela
Yes and also the "Father of Psychology" I think the correct word is Father not Founder.
Swarada
oh ok. noted
Angela
i believe it goes beyond him I believe it is Ancient but un formalized
David
I like your answer Swarada
David
Oh thanks! But u summarised it well!
Swarada
what is up my fellow psych peeps!!
what are some academic research on developmental psychology
Chezy
Sawrada Founder of Psychology is W.Wundt but Father of Psychology is Sigmund Freud...
Wajid
what are some good schools to study psychology?
Enjoy Reply
George Mason, Penn State, UVA, university of Michigan
Jasmine
Hi I'm currently doing my experimental psychology research can you suggest a topic or research topic for my research thank you and please see 😊
Jerico Reply
Hello Jerico. I could help you out with some ideas if you're interested!
Yasmine
can u give me some ideas too?
Geo
For sure. It depends if you're trying to do an experiment (using statistics probably) or a case study what are you aiming for?
Yasmine
Hello Jerico. Try to opt for something simple and easy to do. I wouls say perhaps study the effects of color on concentration? You could get a group of people and have them take a memory test (you can find some online) in a white room for example. Then have them take another memory test
Yasmine
similar to the first one but in a different room and then you check the responses if the performance is better
Yasmine
but you have to know that a lot of factors will interfere in the performance such as mental state etc so make sure to choose a certain specific population. that's very important
Yasmine
you could be a bit more specific about it , to isolate the variables that can mess it up like age, sex, etc... you gotta take that into account
Yasmine
so that the results get somewhat accurate
Yasmine
that is very detailed information I really like it thank you very much 😊 your so very kind
Jerico
You're very welcome
Yasmine
what are your interests in general?
Yasmine
Althogh I'm persuing botany and engineering.... but I also want to study human behaviour and psychology.... I would like if anyone can share their knowledge with me !!!!
Crazy
I'm interested on effect of electroconvulsive therapy on people having a depression
Jerico
What is Electroconvulsive therapy?
Pixeled
Astral Projection
Mansi
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a medical treatment that is most commonly used in patients with severe major depression.
Jerico
What are the expected dutties functions and responsibilities of a head of an agency based on the principles, Practice of industrial psychology?
Paul Reply
what are the psychological characteristics expected from an employee wether regular or occupying a position?
Paul
I can't able to differentiate between clinical psychologists and psychologists...
Nafisa Reply
psychologist is A wider term including all the psychologists from ol the fields of psychology, e.g business psychologist, sports psychologist, marketing psychologist, clinical psychologist, counciling psychologist...where as clinical psychologist is a a psychologist who helps the people to overcome
Irm
or deal wd mental problems, like depression, phobias, schizophrenia, etc
Irm
I have a Question
Mushtaque
where can I get Old Question Paper's of Psychology Entrance Exam
Mushtaque
Ma psychology from ignou will be helpful becoz Iam not from psychology background plz suggest if any online source not distance learning.
Fazilat
past papers of psychology from where I can get
Riaz
What explanatory value do you think behavioral learning theory has for human behavior?
Kuurshejr Reply
I have chronic insomnia and when i don't get a decent night's sleep I'm like a zombie. I walk around without being highly conscious.
Isco
start 9pm onwards daily think bout mostly happiest moments you like. then sound sleep with Happy dreams you get over night
Radhika
anxiety
jeddy
anxiety disorderes
jeddy
what are the contributions of Darwin's evolutionary theory to psychology
Merit Reply
2nd School of thought Functionalism is based on Darwin's evolutionary theory. And evolutionary Psychology have it's foundations from Darwinism.
Wajid
can you explain about evolutionary theory ?
Raaju
can you please explain how functionalism is based on Darwin ?
An
continues changes over generation to generation for the survival of the fittest is evolutionary theory.
Wajid
Functionalism focuses that psychology should study functions of conscious instead of its parts like wundt and tichner and pragmatism is theory based on evolutionary theory.
Wajid
oh that makes sense thank you very much Mr Hussain
An
James's theory of pragmatism is that a child complete all generation variation in mother's pregnancy period. This theory has its foundation t in evolutionary.
Wajid
ohhh I was about to ask okay thanks a bunch!
An
In thinking about the case of Candace described earlier, do you think that Candace benefitted or suffered as a result of consistently being passed on to the next grade?
Haley Reply
what is post traumatic stress disorder?
Nafisa Reply
can we ever think beyond books?
Chandrakant
what is schizophrenia?
Nafisa
Nafisa Sultana# Schizophrenia is characterised by thoughts or experiences that seem out of touch with reality, disorganised speech or behaviour and decreased participation in daily activities. Difficulty with concentration and memory may also be present.
Mohammad
and what about post traumatic stress disorder?
Nafisa
Nafisa Sultana# Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.
Mohammad
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or rape or who have been threatened with death, sexual violence or serious injury.
Mudit
thanks
Nafisa
PAM🥂
Mudit
Hello! how we can apply CBT therapy? any source to learn practice it?
Isra
Nafisa Systematic desensitization is another name of Exposure therapy in which an individual brought to little anxious condition and he show anxiety but soon come to understand that it's vague. and afterward to original situation where he shows same behavior and realize as above treatment for Anxiey
Wajid
traducir en español para siempre ya
Rafael
thanks sir..
Nafisa
How hard is the math in psychology? I'm just first year college
EROLL
its not.maths. statistics
Nss
its an elevational disorder on the consensus on the statistics. but more like the sales person on the line....
Kay
or the interdependent same linguistics. on the mediational downpull.
Kay
just to suite the disorder and immediately following the upside bassframe the disorder.
Kay
its the monotonal static.
Kay
guys I need an online therapist....wanna get rid of some personality disorders
Gifted
an evaluation is needed. this procedure is usually conducted face to face for authenticity. after diagnosis and a plan is in place, you may have the option to communicate with your therapist online rather than in the office
a quick google search could help you if you need a virtual appointment
post traumatic stress is the ending result brought on by experiencing a very traumatic event.
jeddy
Hi guys who is a behaviourist? and can a person have the natural skill of this?
Daniel

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Source:  OpenStax, Psychology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 03, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11629/1.5
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