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Reflective exercise answers












Action research. Studies that help develop an understanding of phenomena so that practical solutions can be found to local and global problems.

Allocentrism. Style of social cognition that favours explaining behaviour in terms of contexts for action.

Attachment patterns. Emotional ties between people.

Attributions. Inferences we make to explain behaviour.

Back-translation. Translating the research text or instructions from the original language (A) to that of the comparison group (B), then translating it back from language В to language A to see if the original meaning is preserved.

Circumstantial variables. Circumstances that prevail to a greater or lesser extent.

Cognitive style. How we approach and undertake problem-solving.

Conformity. Behaviour affected by example.

Critical psychology. Paradigm in global psychology that conducts goal-directed research with the aim of transforming situations of oppression.

Cross-cultural psychology. A branch of global psychology that compares the behaviour and experience of people from different cultures in order to understand the extent of culture’s influence on psychological functioning.

Cross-cultural replication research. An original study is replicated in different cultural settings to see if the same results emerge.

Crystallised intelligence. The application of knowledge and experience in intellectual activity.

Cultural anthropology. The study of the complex social structures that make up communities, societies and nations.

Cultural determinism. The view that human behaviour is primarily shaped by cultural factors.

Cultural differences. Behaviours or experiences that manifest themselves differently in different cultures.

Cultural equivalence. Where two (or more) groups are treated in an equivalent manner throughout the study and are drawn from equivalent populations that differ only with respect to their cultural background.

Cultural psychology. A paradigm in global psychology that challenges the consensus that research should focus on culturally universal behaviour and experience.

Cultural universals. Aspects of behaviour and experience that are common to all cultural settings.

Culturally constructed. Having different meanings in different cultural settings.

Culture. The people around us and the things emanating from them (encompassing objects, institutions, beliefs, opinions, customs, norms of behaviour).

Culture-bound syndrome. A culture-specific disorder that tends to be undiagnosed or misunderstood elsewhere.

Culture-fair tests. Tests designed to assess intelligence without relying on cultural knowledge.

Culture-level analyses. The actions and psychological characteristics of individuals are deemed to vary according to their membership of one cultural group or another.

Dimensions of cultural variability. Psychometric measures of how attitudes, norms, values and behaviours vary across cultures.

Ecological fallacy. The assumption that findings which are demonstrated at the culture level of analysis will be replicated within cultural groups.

Ecological psychology. The study of the relationship between people and their multiple (physical and social) environments.

Ecological validity. The degree to which research findings have relevance in the outside world.

Emic research. Research that aims to highlight distinctiveness of human behaviour and experience as it manifests itself in different cultural settings.

Empiricism. The idea that all knowledge comes from our experiences.

Ethnicity. A sense of belonging to a social group, the subjective experience of feeling different from other groups.

Ethnocentrism. Seeing other cultural groups solely from the point of view of one’s own culture.

Ethnographies. The collection of data for descriptive purposes by using fieldwork techniques, focusing on a single cultural setting.

Etic research. Research that aims to highlight universals of human behaviour and experience.

Eugenics. Controlling inheritance by selective breeding.

Evolutionary psychology. A branch of psychology focusing on genetic and biological antecedents of behaviour.

Evolutionary thinking. A brand of ethnocentrism which assumes that one’s own group is the ideal towards which others will presently develop.

Fluid intelligence. Forms of ‘mental agility’ that allow us to reason effectively irrespective of acquired knowledge.

Fundamental attribution error. Tendency to explain the actions of others using internal causes.

Gender schemas. Ideas about appropriate behaviours for males and females.

Global psychology. A branch of psychology with a special interest in placing psychology in a global context.

Globalisation. The global integration and sharing of culturally, socially and internationally diverse ideas.

Imposed etic. Imposing concepts and methods from the researcher’s own cultural setting into the cross-cultural field of study.

Independent behaviour. Resistance to pressures to conform.

Indigenous psychologies. Diverse regional traditions in psychological research, reflecting differing cultural concerns.

Instincts. Biological predispositions to act.

Life space. The states of affairs, persons, objects and behaviours that form everyday contexts.

Located experiment. An experimental method in which research questions and testing procedures are modelled on participants’ everyday practices.

Meta-analysis. A review of findings from a large number of investigations into a similar research question.

Monotropy. The infant’s bond with the mother is (biologically) qualitatively different from any other, so any interruption to this bond is necessarily maladaptive.

Motherese. Vocal intonation patterns directed towards infants that are characterised by raising the pitch of the voice, exaggerated variations in sound.

Nation. Sovereign state, with geographical boundaries, which incorporates many cultures and ethnicities.

National character. The notion that people from the same nation share certain personality traits.

Nature-nurture debate. Dispute about the relative contributions of biological inheritance (nature) and environmental influence (nurture) to our behavioural repertoire.

Obedience. Behaviour affected by instruction.

Optical illusions. Pictures or objects that create false visual impressions.

Paradigm. View about the discipline’s proper subject matter and the best method for studying it.

Parallel individual analysis. A strategy to ensure that concepts and variables which are used in culture-level analyses are meaningful to all the groups involved.

Parental ethnotheories. Theories and styles of parenting that originate in diverse locations.

Perception. How we make sense of sensory information.

Prejudice. Attitudes (usually negative) towards particular social groups, based on their group membership.

Projective techniques. Tests designed to provide insight about personality traits.

Psychic unity. A set of psychic structures (mind, memory capacity, perceptual processes) that all humans share.

Psychological anthropology. Anthropological investigations that make use of psychological concepts and methods.

Psychometrics. Measuring psychological abilities.

Psychopathology. Psychological state without normal functioning, requiring treatment.

Race. How groups with distinct ancestries differ from each other in terms of appearance, including skin colour, blood group, hair texture.

Romantic love. Passion and intimacy though not necessarily commitment.

Rorschach test. A clinical technique by which an analyst uncovers aspects of a client’s personality from their perception of a series of ambiguous black and coloured shapes (inkblots).

Sampling error. Taking results from a restricted sample of participants and mistakenly applying them to the population as a whole.

Schizophrenia. A pattern of psychotic features including thought disturbances, bizarre delusions, hallucinations (usually auditory), disturbed sense of self and loss of reality testing.

Sensation. Stimulation of sensory receptors.

Social cognition. Blend of cognitive and social psychology that looks at our attitudes and our perceptions of those around us.

Social constructivism. The view that there is no such thing as a knowable objective truth or reality since all truth is generated in cultural contexts.

Social Darwinism. The idea that some societies grow stronger, more complex and are better at maintaining themselves over time, while others may fall by the wayside.

Social identity theory. Asserts that we categorise ourselves according to which social groups we find attractive, and seek out those who belong to the same group as ourselves.

Social influence. Processes by which people affect the actions and attitudes of others.

Social loafing. When an individual’s performance on a task deteriorates when working together with others.

Temperament. Biological predisposition to behave in certain ways.

Transformative research. Research that investigates how disadvantaged individuals or groups can achieve social justice by bringing about change in their material and political circumstances.

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