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December 18, 2013

Cross-Cultural Psychology

This paper serves as a summary to B.F. Skinner’s report on Cross-cultural psychology, that is, the effects of culture on human behavior. Culture pertains to human phenomena that cannot be linked on to genetic inheritance. For all human beings, culture develops after birth and during the process of growth to maturity. The ideas, principles and believes we incorporate from our immediate surroundings, say our parents, friends, neighbors, teachers and leaders highly influence the kinds of persons we become by defining how we tackle and face life. Psychology is the scientific study of behaviors and mental functions. In relation to culture, the two disciplines have a great interrelation as they determine the presence of the other.

The effects of one’s culture on how they understand and appreciate the world in terms of their behaviors varies among people all over the globe. Cultures differ greatly since they fluctuate on values and behaviors among different ages. People develop and grow in different places; for instance, the people of Mongolia in America bear very different cultures to the people of Sri Lanka in Asia. Most Mongolians develop to a culture and society defined by nomadic pastoralism. Pastoralists accompany their animals in search of pastures and water; these practices have been eminent for a long time in history, developing as a livelihood and culture for these people. Rice growing residents of Sri Lanka specialize on nurturing rice as a source of food and livelihood for their society. Comparing the characteristics of the Asians and Mongolians, we get very contradicting ways of life.

Environments determine how we behave since organisms respond to environmental stimuli in terms of pleasure or pain. Likewise, lifestyles develop in relation to how we manage our environment for necessities of life. We learn from other people who have had various experiences and achievements in life. Depending on the literacy levels of various people, those that learn from their icons develop more or less similar traits that end up defining their culture and ways of life. This is the basic sequence of man’s adaptation to life with reference to other organisms.

Learning determines one’s behavior and character. As a child develops towards maturity, they undergo various learning activities from almost anything and anyone around them. Parents set ground for a child’s believes and normal approaches to life, teachers and tutors on the other hand take on the role of helping children interrelate and learn about each other beside the normal curriculum. As students interact, they learn of others experiencing similar changes as themselves. This creates a sense of belonging and an ample learning ground where one may learn of how another handled a problem or life oriented mystery.

With reference to psychology, learning never stops for an organism throughout its lifetime. It identifies threats, pains and pleasures and harnesses the same by determining the most suitable solution to its condition. This explains why some people find it easy to get along with others while others find it hell on earth to get along. Altogether, life is dynamic and interrelated in nature but the mannerisms through which we live and perceive the world around us determines how well we might be able to face challenges.

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