Psychological Theory Psych525 Psychological Theory This paper examines how a person’s cultural ethnocentric perspective causes them to react to a person from another culture based on the behavior/social cognitive theory. For the purposes of description, this presentation will explore both Irish and Japanese ethnocentric perspectives and how they relate to one another using the behavior/social cognitive theory. Ethnocentricity Before continuing on to describe Irish and Japanese cultural interaction, there needs to be clear understanding of what is meant by ethnocentric perspectives.
According to Segall, Dasen, Berry, & Poortinga (1999) an ethnocentric perspective is the belief that a person’s culture is the center of all. The other part of an ethnocentric perspective is that it promotes postive feelings of self while creating negative thought patterns about others (Segall et al, 1999). Behavior/Social Cognitive Theory This theory was built upon the theory that behavior is a learned response primarily learned through social environment (Cervone & Pervin, 2010).
Social-cognitive theorists also believe that a person’s cognitive functions allow for growth beyond the initial environmental contributors (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). A person’s culture represents their primary social environment and therefore is the predominant contributor to their personality development. This cultural awareness, or ethnocentric perspective, provides a framework of thought that affects a person’s future development. Behavior Cognitive theory presents points such as; avoiding conflicting stimuli and attempting to meet equilibrium state by means of using their cognitive elements.
Cognitive elements are elements such as; values, beliefs, knowledge, and attitudes (Awa & Nwuche, 2010). The social aspect of this theory delineates the thoughts that evaluation of such experiences occur in context with uses past experiences. In addition, the social aspect of the theory helps to explain how as social beings we work as “information processing machines” (Landau et al, 2010). By the use of this combination of theories, we are able to explain and evaluate in a deeper way two very distinctive cultures.
The Irish and the Japanese cultures are two cultures so deeply rooted, their culture serves as a means for further understanding cultural dynamics. Irish Ethnocentric Perspective Ireland’s culture is wrapped around its loss of freedom and loss of self after colonization by England (Howard, 2009). Ireland is a predominately Catholic nation while the colonizing English were Protestant causing considerable tensions towards England (Howard, 2009). The Irish view their nation as one of culture and peace in comparison with England’s militarism (Howard, 2009).
The colonization by England, as with many other nations, resulted in a loss of language (Howard, 2009). A movement that picked up speed during the 1970’s allowed Ireland to regain its language (Pinter, 2010). The Irish also view themselves as Celtic, a subset of “white” (Chan, 2006). This racial identity was important because the English viewed them as something less evolved or refined (Chan, 2006). Irish pride is seen in the fight to regain their religion, their language and their national identity and independence from the English (Pinter, 2010). Japanese
Even though it could be argued that ethnocentric bias mostly affects those countries that are diversely populated, Japan can be an exception. Japan is known typically to be composed of a homogeneous population. Japanese culture is known to isolate themselves politically and socially from outsiders. “Gaijin” is a term usually used in Japan to describe outsiders or an out-group. Prior to the 1860’s, the Tokugawa Shoguns adopted a policy enforcing the seclusion of their people. This policy restricted the contact between the Japanese society and people from the outside (Neuliep et al, 2001).
A century has passed by, and most of the Japanese culture still maintains that seclusion mentality towards out-groups. The Japanese culture is an example of
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