Culture – Eva Klush

Culture can affect many things for someone including their mannerisms, religion and psychology. A person and the way they were raised can change no matter what but their psychology can be the most affected. 

     Recent findings have outlined possible ways that the cultural scripts we learn during childhood and the cultural practices people observe as adults influence their brains.Western cultures promote an independent self-construal, where the self is viewed as separate with the emphasis is on the self’s independence and uniqueness. 

     East Asian cultures, on the other hand, foster an interdependent self-construal, with a self that is more relational, and interconnected with others. Culture also appears to influence the way the self is represented in human brains. 

       There are differences in body language, religious practices and wedding rituals. While these are all obvious examples of cultural differences, many distinctions are harder to see because they are psychological in nature. Culture can be seen in dress and food and can also be seen in morality, identity and gender roles. 

     People from around the world differ in their views of religious tolerance, respect for elders, and even the importance they place on having fun. 

     Similarly, many behaviors that may seem innate are actually products of culture. In the United States, people who ride public transportation without buying a ticket face the possibility of being fined. In some other societies, people caught dodging the fare are socially shamed by having their photos posted publicly. The reason this campaign of “name and shame” might work in one society but not in another is that members of different cultures differ in how comfortable they are with being singled out for attention. 

     It turns out that cultural skills and knowledge are learned in much the same way a person might learn to do algebra or knit. They are acquired through a combination of explicit teaching and implicit learning by observing and copying.

     Cultural teaching can take many forms. It begins with parents and caregivers because they are the primary influence on young children. Caregivers teach kids, both directly and by example, about how to behave and how the world works. They encourage children to be polite, reminding them, for instance, to say “Thank you.” They teach kids how to dress in a way that is appropriate for the culture. They introduce children to religious beliefs and the rituals that go with them, which is why many see different ways of expressing the same emotions in different parts of the world.


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