Cross-cultural Psychology: Research topics, applications, and perspectives

Psychology has long ignored culture as a source of influence on human behaviour and still takes little account of theories or data from other than Euro-American cultures. This review deals with topics emerging in cross-cultural, cultural, and indigenous psychology and focuses on theoretical perspectives that shape current cross-cultural psychology. Theories at issue are put to the test as to their sustainability into the first quarter of the 21st century in the face of globalisation and cultural diversity and to their implications on current debates in the field. Special emphasis is placed on the trait approach, its major critics and implications on psychological variables such as identity, group behaviour, personality variables, cognition, and so forth. Results from five decades of research are discussed in order to answer the following questions: What is psychological, what is cultural? What is universal, what is culture-specific? What is specific to one case, what is a general pattern? Arguments and data in most of the latest publications in influential journals in cross-cultural psychology propose to view cultures as dynamic open systems. To address the issue of cultural diversity vs. national unity, research in the last years has concentrated either on multicultural aspects of nations and dealt with intercultural phenomena such as acculturation, or focused on intercultural contact in the zones where cultures meet. The complex challenges of globalisation in the area of organisational behaviour and management in international companies and joint ventures are discussed and critically evaluated. Variables such as leadership, negotiation, and decision-making are extensively treated and applications to areas such as personnel selection and training, work motivation, and organisational conflict are discussed.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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