Cultural Bias Issues and Debates Essay Plan

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  • Created by: katieh
  • Created on: 14-03-17 10:41


Cultural bias is the tendency to judge all people in terms of one's own culture (rules, customs, morals etc).

Hare-Mustin and Marecek (1988)- advocated understanding of alpha and beta bias to help guard against this.

Alpha bias

Alpha biased theories assume there are real and eduring differences between cultural groups. Takano and Osaka (1999) reviewed 15 studies that compared the USA and Japan in terms of individualism/collectivism and their behaviours. Found that 14.15 didn't support the view on conformity, so there may no longer be a distinction.

Beta bias

Beta biased theories ignore or minimise cultural differences, assuming all people are the same. However, measures developed in one culture are not always suitable for another, e.g. using Western IQ tests on non-Westerners is an imposed etic and may make non-Westerners appear less intelligent. Wober (1974)- Ugandan society sees intelligence as depening on shared knowledge between the individual and the society.


Using one's own ethnic or cultural group as a basis for judging other group. The beliefs, customs and behaviours of one's own group tend to be seen as 'normal' whereas those of other groups are 'strange' or deviant.

Alpha bias- one's own culture is considered to be different and better,


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