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Handbook of Advances in Culture and Psychology, Volume 7$
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Michele J. Gelfand, Chi-yue Chiu, and Ying-yi Hong

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190879228

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190879228.001.0001

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Explorations in Dynamics of Symbolic Meaning with Cultural Experiments

Explorations in Dynamics of Symbolic Meaning with Cultural Experiments

(p.261) Chapter 6 Explorations in Dynamics of Symbolic Meaning with Cultural Experiments
Handbook of Advances in Culture and Psychology, Volume 7

Pawel Boski

Oxford University Press

To counterbalance the predominantly verbal measures and psychometric orientation in cross-cultural psychology, this chapter proposes the concept of cultural experiment. It is a method of sampling normative behavioral scripts, exploring their inner structures of meaning, and finally designing reversals, with the expectation of disconfirmation as their ultimate validity test. Pictorial materials (videos) are the preferred methods in this approach as contextualized models of existing cultural arrangements or their modifications. Empirical evidence comes from five cross-cultural research projects spanned over 30 years. These experiments illustrate contrasts in psychological adaptation to congruent and incongruent scenarios. They provide answers when new cultural ways meet with resistance and when novelty is appreciated or tolerated. Three experiments focus on dynamics of gender role prescriptions from Polish and Scandinavian perspectives. Another study investigates person perception of culturally familiar and remote African actors. The last study explores tolerance priming through religious icons from in-group and out-group cultures.

Keywords:   Key Words: cultural psychology, cultural perception, cultural experiment, culture- in/congruent gender roles, scripts, moral tolerance

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