Cultural bias/Ethnocentrism

WEIRD samples, (Henrich et al. 2010)

People included in psychological research are typically drawn from white, educated, industrialised, rich and democratic cultures.

How can psychologists avoid ethnocentrism?

AQA cannot ask you explicitly about emic and etic approaches to research but these terms are very useful to further our understanding of this topic. When learning about attachment you will have learned about the problems created by imposed etics such as the use of Ainsworth’s strange situation with non-US samples. It is useful to have an understanding of derived etics, which come from taking an emic approach and then creating an etic that can be used to measure constructs that have been researched in other cultures but in a way that recognises and draws on an understanding of the importance of cultural relativism, (e.g. Bolton’s work on PTSD in Rwanda).

Cultural dimensions

Hofstede’s country comparison

Cultural relativism

Discretion required!!! This is a film about Sulawesi cultural practices in Indonesia as an illustration of the importance of cultural relativism; it contains images of people who are deceased and their grieving relatives.

Useful article for stretch and challenge about cultural psychology as distinct from cross-cultural research, also deepens understanding of emic and etic constructs:

Great article in Psychology review magazine: 22(4), p.24-27 by Dr. Patrick Hylton of Lincoln University.