One particular type of equivalence that raises a very interesting problem is that of translation equivalence. There is a great deal of evidence that the strength of personality traits varies across cultures, and this is especially true when comparing individualist cultures such as European, North American, and Australian cultures and collectivist cultures such as Asian, African, and South American cultures. Personality psychologists are interested in understanding the role that culture plays in the development of personality. In other words, because strict Freudian theorists, as well as behavioral and cognitive theorists, believed that their theories applied to all people equally, they typically chose not to address differences between people. Today, anyone can travel around the world in a matter of hours or days, and many people do so regularly.
Another concern has to do with the nature of this textbook, and personality courses in general. Thus, some researchers, like Dan McAdams McAdams, 1985, 2006; McAdams et al. One was about the relationship between culture and human nature. Nonetheless, Gutmann found evidence for these changes in mastery style amongst men in mainstream America as well as in the Navajo, Maya, and Druze cultures. According to Freud, the basic driving force of personality and behavior is known as the. In this procedure, one person translates the test, or survey, into the foreign language, and then a different person translates the foreign language test back into the original language. Sometimes, these can come into conflict.
We live in a world in which most nations have signed United Nations declarations of human rights and claim to be democracies, yet racial and ethnic conflict abound. Indeed, Gutmann points out that it is uniquely human to favor the ends of the lifespan, both childhood and old age, over the middle of the lifespan, when reproductive fitness is at its biological peak. This becomes particularly important when considering cross-cultural research, since it may be reasonable to make some general assumptions about an individual from another culture, but we must also be prepared for their own unique variation as a person in that cultural group. Their Japanese counterparts, in contrast, consider it important to get to know their business partners, and they are comfortable with hours of conversation about a variety of topics. Some important theorists that I believe have made a huge contribution are Sigmund Freud, Karen Horney, and Dollard and Miller. Because the experience of individuals is cumulative, it is seen that the individual may not be fully formed or described by the fidelity stage at which Freudian personality development ceases.
The ego must then moderate between the primal needs of the id, the idealistic standards of the superego and reality. Technology and globalization have dramatically reduced the distance between people, and consequently brought their cultural differences into contact with one another. Indeed, Sorokin took such a broad view of the role of society and culture in the environmental universe of each individual, that he described trying to understand sociocultural phenomena by locating them in terms of sociocultural space and sociocultural distance. The subsequent uproar led to the end of his presidency at Harvard, and a renewed effort to examine the reasons why few women succeed in math and science careers. Twin studies have shown that heritable factors are not the only predictor of personality or even diseases such as schizophrenia; the biological perspective does not fully address non-heritable factors. The other, very serious problem is that of racism.
In this chapter, we will briefly examine some of the issues facing personality psychologists who wish to examine personality development in a sociocultural context. However, it remains true that cross-cultural studies in psychology have only recently moved closer to the mainstream of psychological research and clinical practice. This final stage starts when the child is about 12 years old. It is clear that personality may be affected even in adulthood by changes in cultural expectations, including the individualism-collectivism orientation; however, it is also clear that this is far from the only determining factor, which should be considered. Several studies tried to examine the origins of different gender roles and personalities that make each human being unique. Childhood is typically further divided into young childhood and adolescence. This somewhat limits our perspective on cross-cultural personality theory to attempts to apply our Western theories to people of other cultures.
Another fundamental problem with the study of culture is our attention to it, or rather, the lack of attention we pay to something that is so deeply ingrained in our daily lives. In his well-known stage , Freud suggested that personality develops in stages that are related to specific erogenous zones. For example, freedom of speech is a cherished right in America. Eriksons theory of personality was built on Freuds structural model of personality, and maintains many of the characteristics of this model Ewen, 2003. Personalities change over time, but so can culture. Culture impacts many if not all aspects of life which makes definitions so vague and incomplete. For example, an etic related to intelligence is the ability to solve problems.
Many people wonder if one's personality primarily comes down to nature versus nurture. It is the most primal part of personality and drives people to fulfill their most basic needs and urges. For example, someone is looking at a spot of jelly on someone's face as they are speaking. At the most basic level, there are two types of research. Within a culture there are norms and behavioral expectations. Thus, the ability to sort items into categories appears to be an etic task most likely common to all humans, regardless of culture , whereas the more specific abilities to sort by geometry and color common to American college students or type of rice grain common to Mano farmers in Liberia is an emic task that requires familiarity.
As we noted above, however, the transition into old age is not always easy, and this leads to some unique changes in personality associated with aging. It is not surprising that Chinese children traditionally have not been allowed to act as equals to their parents. If children do not follow these traditional paths, they are often labeled as marginal or even deviant. My point is that we have to compare like to like jobs. We cannot simply refer to people who live within the boundaries of the United States as American, and expect that they are similar in every other cultural respect. However, this does not mean that individuals within a later stage of life will be incapable of assimilating new cultural roles.