The study of beliefs is important because in addition to values, norms, and personality, beliefs are a major antecedent of social behaviours. This article provides an update of the study of beliefs in Chinese culture by integrating research that has emerged later on. The two major objectives of this article are to consolidate what has been known about beliefs in Chinese culture, and to identify fruitful directions for future research on this important topic. Chinese culture is rich in the variety and quantity of traditional beliefs because of its long history, but, as this article states, only a few of these rich belief constellations have been explored by psychologists. The article then reviews a few major traditional beliefs deemed important for future psychological research. However it states that there are still many gaps in the knowledge about beliefs among Chinese and how they function to influence social behaviours.
Yu-Jing Ni, Ming Ming Chiu, and Zi-Juan Cheng
Chinese students have excelled in many international assessments of mathematics achievement (e.g. Programme for International Student Assessment [PISA] and the Third International Mathematics and Science Study [TIMSS]), thereby drawing great interest from researchers, educators, and policy makers inside and outside the Chinese community. This article draws upon three strands of research (developmental, instructional, and social-psychological) cutting across three different levels (societal/cultural [macro, nation], institutional [meso/micro, family, classroom], and individual [nano]) to examine the ingredients that have shaped the mathematics achievements of Chinese students. This article traces the early numerical development of Chinese children before considering learning and instruction in Chinese mathematics classrooms. Apart from exploring the broader sociocultural contexts in which the Chinese way of learning and teaching mathematics is rooted and supported, it also depicts a profile of Chinese students' achievements in mathematics against these backgrounds. Broadly, this article helps to understand Chinese students' mathematics achievement and its contexts.
Robert S. Wyer Jr. and Jiewen Hong
This article focuses on the psychology of Chinese consumer behaviour. It reviews the ‘content’ of Chinese culture and its implications for consumer behaviour, focusing on the norms, beliefs, and values that Chinese cultural representatives are likely to hold and the conditions in which they are likely to be applied. Although some of the discussion in this article necessarily duplicates material presented in more detail elsewhere, it provides a framework for conceptualizing much of the current research on consumer behaviour. It further examines a factor that influences both the content and processing of information that consumers are likely to encounter, namely, the language in which information is received and communicated. Although the work reviewed here was largely conducted on Chinese individuals, the study also draws upon data obtained from other East Asian societies that are likely to be similar in terms of the characteristics being considered.
How Can We Study Interactions Mediated by Money as a Cultural Tool: From the Perspectives of “Cultural Psychology of Differences” as a Dialogical Method
Toshiya Yamamoto, Noboru Takahashi, Tatsuya Sato, Kazuko Takeo, Seonah Oh, and Chengnan Pian
Money is usually seen to be exchanged with anything that has an equivalent exchange value in the society in which a market economy prevails. When we define economic activity in the broadest sense, money is one specific form of the medium that mediates between people. In this chapter, we will discuss the role of money from the viewpoint of cultural psychology. At first, after briefly reviewing the previous research on the psychology of economic activity, we will show money and possessions are embedded in human relationships and their meanings are not separable from them. The meaning of “my belongings,” for example, “this money (or possession) is ‘mine’” is not determined based on the simple and dichotomous distinction between mine and others, and the possibility (and/or the impossibility) of the transfer of them is decided under the control of social norms that are held in common within a group of people. Second, we will explain how such norms are realized on the basis of our methodology—which we call that of cultural psychology of differences. Thirdly, we will give an overview of our Pocket Money Project, where we have analyzed the relationship between money and children of the four East Asian countries: Japan, Korea, China, and Vietnam. While this project is a case study conducted based on our methodology, the readers will know how the structures of norms, which make the economic activity possible, are different between different cultural groups, and how we can recognize them.
This chapter investigates the role of narrative in the relationship between individuals and their cultural worlds. Drawing on assumptions of interpretive cultural psychology and a Wittgensteinian concept of narrative as a cultural form of life, it proposes a culturally thick notion of narrative. At the heart of this notion is the idea of narrative as a cultural practice, a practice of meaning construction. This argument is developed in discussions of five traditions of research that have explored the nature of narrative (1) in contexts of cultural traditions and (2) socialization, (3) as a “form of life,” (4) with respect to fictional and nonfictional genres, and (5) as an instrument and practice of folk psychology. The resulting outline of a culturally thick notion of narrative is further elaborated by arguments from narratology, discussions on narrative in the light of evolutionary anthropology, and interpretive approaches to narrative in philosophy and the social sciences.
Florence Denmark and Michele Paludi
The field of the psychology of women has its roots in the functionalist movement of studies of sex differences. There was no separate field of study known as the psychology of women during this movement. Women were discussed solely in relation to men, discussed in terms of “innate” differences between the sexes. Thus, sex was used as the explanation rather than the starting point for scientific inquiry. The heritage of the field of the psychology of women, beginning with the functionalist movement, is reviewed in this chapter. Changes in the field are identified: women as problem and the variability hypothesis, female–male differences and similarities, and feminist studies of women’s experiences. This chapter also addresses internationalizing the psychology of women. Contributions by first- and second-generation American women psychologists are also discussed. In addition, feminist pedagogy in psychology of women courses is presented, with special attention to stages of feminist identity development, shared teaching, classroom seating, grading, and empowering students in their professional and personal lives.
Henry Sanoff and Rotraut Walden
Education reform has focused primarily on teaching methods and course content. As a result instructional materials have been updated and instructional methods improved. However, what has received too little attention is the physical environment in which education occurs. Highly qualified teachers do not want to work in outdated, unattractive facilities. Parents are much more discerning about which school their child will attend, including the physical appearance of the school and modern technology available. School systems have discovered that schools with “sick” internal physical environments have an adverse effect on student learning and teacher performance. There are a growing number of studies linking student outcomes whose physical environments support the educational process.
Michael E. Nielsen and Christopher F. Silver
The psychology of religion course can play an important role in the psychology curriculum, as the material in the course spans the discipline from biological to social factors. In this chapter we present strategies for designing a successful course, including aligning it with the institution’s mission and gaining support from colleagues. We introduce texts available to teach the class; we describe activities that we have used to illustrate important concepts, such as using films in the course; and we offer suggestions for written assignments that can be used for assessing students’ knowledge of the material. We also discuss instructional design issues that deserve consideration in a psychology of religion course.