Cross-Cultural Psychology

Psychological studies and research have long been concentrated within the developed countries which are also the most industrialized. This trend is now changing and it is all because of the subfield of cross-cultural psychology. Following is an overview of this area of study.

Areas of study in cross-cultural psychology

Cross-cultural psychology has examined the effects of daily life exposure to the perception levels of an individual. For instance, one study in this subfield examined the effects of shapes that a child grows seeing and his level of perception. In this study, shapes as well as angles had varying effects on people. For instance, the perception of people in urban areas where buildings mostly have perpendicular edges had optical illusions that were very different from those of people living in rural settings. This is because rural villages barely have such buildings. Another area of study in the subfield of cross-cultural psychology is the evaluation of psychological disorders. In this evaluation, studies have taken an interest in finding out the true normal sexuality among human beings. The results were that different cultures had different definitions for normal sexuality, and sometimes depended on the stage of a person’s life. For instance, even though homosexuality is considered an immoral behaviour mostly common in America, some other cultures have also encouraged their youth to practice it before getting married. Cross-cultural psychology as a field of study has also helped in better understanding psychology related theories. One of these theories is Oedipus complex as stated by Sigmund Freud. In this theory, boys are usually hostile to their fathers and friendly to their mothers while the case is reversed with girls. A study within cross-cultural psychology found out that in Trobriand Islands, boys were very hostile to their maternal uncles. These uncles instilled discipline on the boys and therefore acted as their fathers.

Studying Cross-Cultural Psychology

Cross-cultural psychology is different from other subfields of psychology. This branch deals with the impact of culture on people and their actions. It is also considered as a research methodology within the field of psychology. As a result of these differences, two categories of people can actually pursue this field of study. Students who have an interest in learning more about the effects of a child growing in different cultures on his growth or one who is interested in personality psychology, then this subfield would be perfect for him or her.


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