Introduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology: January 31st, 2010

Cultural and cross-cultural psychology are two different branches of psychology. Most universities and colleges have course catalogs with similar information and tend to use the same titles for the course description. This can be confusing for the average college student let alone most who are not in school. There are significant distinctions connecting these branches and the approaches to psychological study of culture they symbolize. According to Shiraev  and Levy in Cross Cultural Psychology, they stated  “Cultural psychology seeks to discover meaningful links between a culture and the psychology of individuals living in this culture” (Levy & Shiraev, 2009, 4).  Cross-cultural psychology is the scientific study of human behavior and mental process, including both their variability and invariance, under diverse cultural conditions (Google Definitions, 2010).

Cultural psychology is that the mind and the culture are undividable.  An example would be the culture in Seattle, Washington. Most drink coffee at all times of the day and are usually technically savvy. This is a part of Seattle’s culture. In order to understand cultural and cross-cultural psychology, one must examine the impact of the culture, the tradition and social practices for the unity of humankind  (Swami, Henderson, Custance,  & Tovee, 11/3) . Cross-cultural psychology is the explanation of differences and similarities within the behavior of communities belonging to diverse cultures using the scientific method as orchestrated in psychology. The focus in cross-cultural psychology is on the individual in group context and uses different methods from anthropology and sociology  (Swami, Henderson, Custance,  & Tovee, 11/3) . By analyzing the relationship between cultural psychology and cross cultural psychology, we as humans are able to understand the cultural phenomenon’s. Culture has a powerful impact on human actions cross-cultural psychology focuses the point on examining human behavior and the effects of the culture into account.  Examples of cultural psychology and cross-cultural psychology linking together would be child rearing practices in certain cultures and the impacts of the culture on the child’s development.

Another example is that culture can impact one’s individual personality and one’s social behavior due to the impact from one’s culture. The role of critical thinking in cross-cultural psychology is


Google Definitions. (2010). Google Dictionary. Retrieved from

Levy, D. A., & Shiraev, E. (2009). Cross-Cultural Psychology (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Swami, V., Henderson, G., Custance, D., & Tovee, M. J. (11/30/2010). A Cross-Cultural Investigation of Men’s Judgments of Female Body Weight in Britain and Indonesia. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 1(42), 140-145. Retrieved from


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