Cultural bias

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  • Cultural Bias
    • Alpha bias - Tends to emphasise differences between cultures.
    • Beta bias - Tends to minimise differences between cultures.
    • Ethnocentrism - We use our own ethnic or cultural group as a basis for judgements about other groups.
      • We tend to see our behaviour as normal or superior.
      • Alpha bias
        • One's own culture is considered to be different and better
      • Beta bias
        • If psychologists believe their world view is the only view
    • Cultural relativism - behaviour cannot be judged unless it is viewed in the context in which it originates. 
      • Beta Bias
        • Assuming that the same rules apply universally
      • Alpha Bias
        • The assumption of real differences leads psychologists to overlook universals
    • Emic - a research study in which the focus is one single culture.
    • Etic -  research study which is cross-cultural and learns about the universality of behaviours.
    • Evaluation
      • Indigenous psychology
        • The development of different groups of theories in different countries (Afrocentrism)
      • Emic-Etic
        • A problem is that findings tend to be only significant to one culture
      • Bias in RM
        • In 1998 Smith and Bond found that 66% of textbook studies were American, 32% European and 2% others
      • Consequences
        • The army IQ test led to negative attitudes being held about African Americans.
      • Worldwide Psychology
        • There is a better exchange of ideas and cultures now so psychologists can understand cultures on a personal level


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