Culture refers to a set of ideas, attitudes, behaviours, and traditions that exist among large groups of people. The ideas are passed on from one generation to the next and can be resistant to changes over time.
The world is full of diverse cultures, each with its unique customs. For instance, in some parts of the world, you might notice people getting closer to each other physically in social settings, while in others, it is considered respectable to maintain a distance from others. These contrasting practices show the fascinating variety of cultural differences around the world.
Culture and Psychology are entwined in many ways. This is because culture inspires values, expectations, and relationships. With the help of improved cultural awareness, people understand what is acceptable in society and what actions must be avoided. We will try to understand the intersection of culture and psychology.
Culture As Adaptation
When we talk about culture, what we usually mean is that people have a better chance of acquiring the required knowledge about the natural environment that they live in. This awareness helps to survive under different kinds of conditions while being adapted to other challenges and problems.
It is not that simple to forecast all kinds of possible challenges in human life, which is why if a person thinks that it is enough to be culturally strong, he or she can end up making a mistake. It becomes rather important to share important information between members of the chosen culture and promote the spread of this culture among other people.
Culture enables people to depend on the same grounds and requirements for adapting to the required environment. It is safe to say that culture is a significant point for people to survive in the present world, and it should not come as a surprise if adaptation is regarded as an important way of culture influencing human life.
Culture and Psychology
Values are fundamental beliefs based on which people function. All cultures in the world possess their values, traditions, and ideals. Integrity in the implementation of a value with time makes sure that it is continued, and this continuity also separates a value from simple beliefs, ideas, and opinions.
A concept in Psychology called cultural universalism explains that human beings create a culture in response to their survival needs. Only human beings depend on culture rather than instinct to ensure their survival. What may seem unique to humanity is its capacity to create culture because culture relativism informs us that each culture possesses specific values, traditions, and ideals.
The judgement of what may be right or wrong can be based on specific cultural values. It is important to understand that values underline preferences, guide choices, and indicate what is worthwhile in life. Values help in defining the character of a culture while prescribing what one should do and not how to do it.
Values offer views about ideals and serve as standards for maintaining a good social life. All kinds of groups, regardless of size, have their values, norms, and sanctions. Even though it might seem obvious that values are rooted in the culture from which they come, this is not always how they are operationalized.
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Culture Help In Organising Human Life
Another exceptional way culture might influence human life is through its ability to organise relations between people and norms according to the way people live. Human beings belonging to a concrete group are a feature that can be hardly avoided, so people must organise their lives, interests, and duties according to the norms set by culture.
The way of cultural influence on human life implies everyone who values, expects, and relates to being used by an individual for communicating, cooperating, and appropriately expressing personal ideas. Cultural awareness makes people realise what actions are acceptable in society and what actions should be avoided as they learn how to develop relations and what steps must be taken to achieve the purposes set.
Different Categories of Cultural Values
Cultural values can be divided into six fundamental categories:
In many multicultural societies, cultures might come into conflict. This occurs when members of a culture think that their way is the only way. The truth is that there are many cultural ways of reaching the same goal or living your life.
A conflict may involve ethnocentrism, and this can often occur when a culture recognises the existence of other cultures while believing the best way and other cultural valuations are inferior. The idea of cultural contingency might be an appropriate response in a multicultural world, and cultural values should be seen as choices equally valid for individuals.
Role of Psychologists
Psychologists have a crucial role in navigating cultural values in various aspects of their work. They are encouraged to gain a deep understanding of their cultural values and how they relate to their profession and the global context. Additionally, psychologists are expected to be mindful of their own cultural biases. In situations where their cultural values might potentially cause harm, they are advised to refer their clients to culturally competent practitioners. This ensures that clients receive the appropriate support and care that is respectful of their cultural backgrounds.
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In addition, psychologists must learn about the cultural values of their clients so that it becomes easier to work with them as strengths rather than liabilities. For instance, Psychologists may involve cultural leads in the treatment of different customers. The idea of cultural competence can often extend to other professional areas, including education, teaching, consultation, research, etc.
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Culture and human psychology are deeply interwoven. The implementation of cultural norms has a huge role to play in the way human minds work and lead their daily lives. Psychologists can come into the picture to let people think holistically about culture and how it can help empower them and not limit them.
The Chitkara School of Psychology and Counseling focuses on the study and application of psychology and counseling in multicultural settings. It offers all-inclusive programs that provide students with a deep understanding of the theories, principles, and methodologies of psychology. The curriculum emphasises the significance of cultural factors in shaping human behaviour and mental processes. Students are encouraged to explore how culture influences individual and collective identities, social norms, and psychological well-being.