Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ethnic Group Conflict

          The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a conflict whereas two ethnic groups have been at war with each other for numerous years. Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslim Arabs are the specific ethnic groups of this conflict. For numerous years, the conflicts between these two ethnic groups have led to countless injuries and deaths of individuals from both ethnic groups. To understand the reasoning behind this conflict and the effects of it one must take into account several factors about both ethnic groups. Several similarities and differences exist between these two ethnic groups. Understanding the concept of conformity and how it relates to Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslim Arabs can enable a clearer understanding of why this conflict exists. Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslim Arabs not only have similarities and differences but have differences in social perceptions that contribute to their conflict, and addressing certain social perceptions can resolve such a conflict.
Similarities and Differences between Ethnic Groups 
          As for Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslim Arabs, they both occupy the same country and share some similarities; however, there are many differences between these ethnic groups. Similarly, Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslim Arabs both strongly adhere to religious and cultural traditions. However, Israeli Jews are more Western, democratic, and modern, while Palestinian Muslim Arabs are rather more traditional (Pines & Zaidman, 2003). Israeli Jews tend to be rather individualistic, while Palestinian Muslim Arabs are rather collectivist. Israeli Jews accept a small power distance and Palestinian Muslim Arabs accept more power distance (Pines & Zaidman, 2003). Israeli Jews have a tendency to be more feminine than Palestinian Muslim Arabs; while, Palestinian Muslim Arabs are rather more masculine. Israeli Jewish families are nuclear systems with characteristics of democratic family relationships and parental control is fairly permissive, alike in ways, in other Western cultures.
          Therefore, such democratic values in families and influences of socialist ideologies result in a tendency to believe in the equality of individuals, but they possess minimal respect for status and authority (Pines & Zaidman, 2003). The majority of Israeli Jewish youth serve time in the military and this action has a strong effect on these youths and this strengthens the dependence of peers. This plays a role in why Israeli youths rely on close peers first when suffering from distress. Relevant research also provides data that asserts that Israeli adolescents have strong peer and family support systems. Israeli Jews share the belief that trials and tribulations in life help shape an individual’s personality. As for developing a mature identity, a solid inner core enables personal strength; that is a key component for developing such of an identity. These types of values are encouragements for Israeli Jews when accepting any challenge, confronting any problem, and enable them to favor direct and active coping (Pines & Zaidman, 2003).  
          Studies comparing Israeli Jewish and Palestinian Muslim Arab adolescents’ showed that Israeli Jews have less closeness to their parents than their Palestinian Muslim Arab counterparts and Israeli Jewish boys believe that their family structure is less cohesive than that of Arab families. Family adaptability is at higher levels with Israeli Jewish families (Pines & Zaidman, 2003). However, Palestinian Muslim Arabs share strong affiliations with families and extended families. Such, as with neighbors and the community in regards to a sense of belonging, support, mutual trust, commitment, and cooperation, and solidarity. They also, prefer a collective and family orientation instead of an individualized orientation regardless of a conspicuous process of modernization. Pines and Zaidman (2003), “many traditional notions of family life persist, including patriarchal patterns of authority, sharply delineated gender roles, conservative sexual standards, the importance of self-sacrifice for the greater good of the family, and the importance of honor and shame as regulators of moral norms and emotions” (p. 467).
          Traditional Arab society defends the individual and provides needs for individuals by making use of social networks of family members. However, another individual’s position of power, age, and gender undermines the other individual’s welfare in certain circumstances. In Palestinian Muslim Arab families and extended families, interdependence is shown through housework, childcare, social and economic support (Pines & Zaidman, 2003). Any probability of a family not providing support for a family member is a serious threat. With a disposition of distrust in government service agencies, Arab families underuse professional counseling services. This is because of Palestinian Muslim Arab families’ cultural interdiction in opposition of revealing family affairs to nonfamily members and doing so is unacceptable and brings shame to who do reveal family affairs. Since Palestinian Muslim Arab families have a substantial network of social support, any personal and family problems are kept within the families.
          Also, Palestinian Muslim Arab individuals learn to be patient when facing difficult situations, emotional needs do not require any intervention, and they have a belief of “fate” as a predetermined occurrence. Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslim Arabs share few similarities, but many differences exist between these ethnic groups.
Concept of Conformity and Ethnic Groups
          Conformity is a form of influence by society, whereas an individual will change his or her behavior and or attitude to cohere to the norms of society or a group (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Individuals conform for many reasons, and often individuals will conform to meet the expectations set forth by other individuals. This is often true when those other individuals are a representation of the majority of individuals. Another explanation of conformity provided by rational actor theories, details it as a rational-choice perspective (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Shiraev and Levy (2010), “as for this approach, individuals act as rational actors and make a choice in regards to varies choose from several alternatives available to them” (p. 283).
In regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslim Arabs’ behavior and or attitudes center on their religious doctrines. Both ethnic groups are religiously observant traditionalist. They strictly follow their own religious doctrines and devoutly follow the rules of their own respective religions and adhere to religious norms; which also shapes their behaviors and attitudes. As a result of this, there is minimal chances that either ethnic group will change their behavior or attitudes to conform in order to decrease the nature of their conflict; let alone cease this conflict.  
Differences in Social Perceptions Contribute to Conflicts
          Social perception is a process whereas an individual or individuals try to understand other individuals and themselves. In psychology, an established view is that individuals acquire beliefs, attitudes, and judgments, as a result of experiences in socialization through an individual’s cultural milieu (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Also, culture consists of worldly perceptions that underlie and are reflections of individuals’ behavior (Shamir & Sullivan, 1985). This also, influences an individual’s perceptions in regards to what is appropriate behavior and, therefore, when and how an individual enacts, obtains, and seeks supportive behavior in distressing circumstances. Similarly, differences in orientations in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and perceptions of it as measured according to political and religious ideologies and the perceptions of threats, are the main origins of variance in tolerance amid Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslim Arabs (Shamir & Sullivan, 1985).
          Also, what contribute to this conflict are the perceptions that Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslim Arabs have for one another. These perceptions of one another usually stem from biased stereotypes. Perceptions from the standpoint of Israeli Jews are that Palestinian Muslim Arabs are members of left-wing nationalistic groups, while the perceptions of Palestinian Muslim Arabs are that Israeli Jews are members of right-wing nationalistic groups. However, through questioner samples only 15% of Palestinian Muslim Arabs identify as right-wingers, while 50% identify as left-wingers. On the other hand, only 15% were right-wingers and 40% were left-wingers (Shamir & Sullivan, 1985). Another social perception that contributes to this conflict is the perceptions that religious differences exist and that their religious ideologies are far from related to each other or dissimilar.
Social Perceptions needed to Resolve Conflicts between Ethnic Groups
          Addressing both the social perceptions of differing political and religious ideologies can resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Especially, since these social perceptions undermine the similarities of political and religious ideologies. The majority Israeli Jews at 40% and the majority of Palestinian Muslim Arabs at 50% politically share the similar left-wing political ideologies and addressing this similarity instead of the biased social perceptions of political ideologies can resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Also, addressing the similarities of religious ideologies can also resolve this conflict, since the religions of Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslim Arabs stem from Abrahamic origins. Both of these groups religions have many similarities, and this links their religions in regards to in a common theological dogma, concerning faith and morality, and the belief in and devotion to God.
          The Israeli-Palestinian conflict between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslim Arabs is a conflict that dates back for decades and continues today. With minimal similarities but numerous differences between these two groups, along with unrelenting means of conforming to different attitudes and/or behaviors, and with differing ideas of social perceptions these two ethnic groups remain in a constant state of conflict. However, by addressing certain social perceptions their conflict can cease.  
Pines, A.M., & Zaidman, N. (2003, July). Israeli Jews and Arabs: Similarities and Differences in the Utilization of Social Support. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 34(4), 465-480.
Shiraev, E., & Levy, D. (2010). Cross-cultural psychology: Critical thinking and contemporary applications (4th ed). Boston: Pearson/Allyn Bacon.
Shamir, M., & Sullivan, J. L. (1985). Jews and Arabs in Israel: Everybody hates somebody, sometime. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 29(2), 283-305. Retrieved from

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Psychological Disorder

1. Psychological Disorder (as listed in the DSM-5):
Schizophrenia, Paranoid Type

2. DSM-5 Code for this disorder:
The DSM-5 Code is 295.30

3. Why did you choose this disorder?
          I chose this disorder because I am an aspiring clinical psychologist and seek to be knowledgeable in regards to every psychological disorder. Another reason is because I need an understanding of the symptoms of this disorder to help and treat individuals who suffer from this disorder.

4. Discuss the psychological disorder
          Schizophrenia is a disorder characterized by the presence of hallucinations, delusions, and catatonic or disorganized behavior, and disorganized speech (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Through twin and adoption studies, researchers found evidence of a genetic link; therefore, family members can inherit schizophrenia. Inheritance of this disorder occurs through combined effects of numerous genes of minimal effects and some susceptibility genes. One type of schizophrenia is the paranoid type. Paranoid schizophrenia is a subtype of schizophrenia characterized by auditory hallucinations or delusions in regards to otherwise-normal emotional and cognitive functioning (Mohandie & Duffy, 1999). Mohandie and Duffy (1999), “compared to other forms of schizophrenia, paranoid schizophrenic thoughts are coherent, and delusions generally revolve around an organized theme” (p. 1).
          Common symptoms associated with this disorder are argumentativeness, aloofness, anger, and anxiety. Often individuals with this disorder display a patronizing or superior manner. When individuals with the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia do not seek treatment or do not maintain treatments then symptoms can cause a disruption of an individual’s daily functioning and social life.

5. Discuss the relationship between human development and socialization
          Human development refers to changes of human psychological, physical, and social behavior occurring throughout a human’s lifespan. Socialization refers to the processes that occur that enable a human to become a member of a certain culture and enables them to take on that culture’s behaviors and values (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). During socialization learning for humans occurs in regards to learning behavioral norms and the values of a particular culture. Human development and socialization are both lifelong processes with delays and accelerations, sudden transitions, long-term conversions, and changes in direction (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Human development is decline, growth, and modification and usually occurs in stages. Human development also occurs in a social construct and across different cultures in regards to changes of attitudes and acquiring new beliefs.
          Through socialization within cultures humans develop new skills but may lose other skills (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Both human development and socialization depend on other humans that one interacts with.

6. How does the relationship between human development and socialization affect the psychological disorder?
          As for human development and socialization what occurs in regards to suffers of schizophrenia is a diminishment of human development and socialization. There is the expectance of finding regressions in directions of greater primitivization of processes (Torrey, 1981). Torrey (1981), “in essence the concept of primitivity is a theoretical construct referring to a kind of cognition characterized by developmentally early processes” (p. 58). What occurs in human development of suffers of schizophrenia is a regression in cognitive processes. Schizophrenia diminishes the perceptions, learning, thinking, language, and emotional behavior of individuals; which, affects the process of socialization or social integration. However, certain individuals suffering from schizophrenia still try to socialize with other individuals even when displaying symptoms of the disorder. However, they are unable to understand how their symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions affect other individuals. Other individuals suffering from schizophrenia tend to regress to a social vacuum devoted to themselves without any social interactions (Torrey, 1981).    

7. Discuss cultural considerations in regards to prevalence, treatment, trends, etc.
           Research in regard to schizophrenia shows its prevalence affects one percent of world’s population (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Torrey (1981), “there appear to be areas of the world in which the schizophrenias occur very frequently (e.g., western Ireland, northwestern Croatia) and others in which they occur infrequently (e.g., many developing countries)” (p. 588). Research also shows that schizophrenia more frequently occurs in lower socioeconomic groups within Japan, Iceland, Norway, England, and in the United States, and less frequently in higher socioeconomic groups, such as within India (Torrey, 1981). As for paranoid schizophrenia, it is the more commonly occurring subtype of schizophrenia in the majority of the world. However, there is usually a lower prevalence in developing countries.  
          The symptoms of schizophrenia appear to be universal across cultures. In developing countries and in higher socioeconomic groups, individuals who suffer from paranoid schizophrenia tend to more frequently seek treatments. However, individuals in less developed countries and lower socioeconomic groups less frequently seek treatments. Also, in less developed countries individuals more frequently face social isolation because of paranoid schizophrenia symptoms, which occurs less in more developed countries.

8. Discuss how this disorder may/may not be accepted/explained within certain cultural contexts
          In certain cultural contexts, paranoid schizophrenia and symptoms of it, such as hallucinations or delusions vary across cultures in regards to acceptance and explanations. Paranoid schizophrenia in certain cultural contexts such as in more developed western cultures is rather thought of as and accepted and explained as the disorder that it is. However, often individuals who are suffering from symptoms of the disorder face social isolation. As for certain other cultures, typically in less developed cultures paranoid schizophrenia is rather thought of as and accepted and explained as something other than the disorder that it is because of symptoms are culturally dependent. For instance, in less technologically developed northern Ghana the contexts of symptoms such as delusions center around a fetish system; while, in southern Ghana which is more highly developed delusions might include things such as televisions, radios, and electricity (Torrey, 1981).
          As for non-literate African tribes in Nigeria, delusions center on ancestral cults and supernatural concepts while as for literate Africans abnormal somatic complaints and hypochondriacal delusions are the center (Torrey, 1981).

9. What have you learned about this disorder that you did not previously know?
          I learned some important information about paranoid schizophrenia that I do not previously know, such as regarding the worldwide prevalence of the disorder and how the relationship between socialization and human development affects paranoid schizophrenia. Also, I learned about how differing cultural contexts such as in developed and less developed cultures either accept or do not accept paranoid schizophrenia as a disorder and either explain the symptoms as a result of the disorder or explain it as something other than the disorder that it is.
Shiraev, E., & Levy, D. (2010). Cross-cultural psychology: Critical thinking and contemporary applications (4th ed). Boston: Pearson/Allyn Bacon.
Mohandie, K., & Duffy, J. E. (1999). Understanding subjects with paranoid schizophrenia. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 68(12), 8-16. Retrieved from
Torrey, E. F. (1981). The epidemiology of paranoid schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 7(4), 588-593. Retrieved from

How do the concepts of personal space and territoriality differ across cultures? How is human territoriality different from that of nonhuman species?

          Personal space and territoriality vary across cultures because different cultures value these concepts differently. Certain cultures expect an invasion of personal space, while other cultures resist an invasion of personal space and display certain behaviors to demonstrate that. Personal space is the area surrounding an individual's body where other individuals may not enter. Territoriality refers to the behavior displayed by species to show possessions of a certain area. As for personal space, certain cultures would rather interact with other individuals more closely, while other cultures prefer to keep a certain amount of distance between them and another individual. Therefore, as for territoriality, certain cultures will display certain behaviors when another individual invades their personal space. For instance, individuals who are Arab require less personal space than Americans, and tend to move closer together when confronting each other, maintain constant eye contact, and are more apt to touch each other (Evans & Howard, 1973).
     Human territoriality differs from that of nonhuman species because human territoriality culturally occurs while nonhuman species territoriality occurs naturally. 

Evans, G. W., & Howard, R. B. (1973). Personal space. Psychological Bulletin, 80(4), 334-344. doi:

Discuss what motivates nonconformist behavior. Please include an example.

          To understand nonconformist behavior, an understanding of conformist behavior is necessary. In the context of obedience which, is a form of conformity; which, is whenever an individual or individuals follow the rules or orders that are given to them (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Conformist behavior is behavior that aligns with following given rules or orders. Therefore, nonconformist behavior is behavior that does not align with following given rules or orders. An individual or individuals who display nonconformist behavior disregard the rules and orders given to them. Many factors can motivate nonconformist behavior and I believe social influence is one of the key factors that motivate such behavior. Shiraev and Levy (2010), "social influence in the context of psychology stands for efforts on the part of one person to alter the behavior or attitudes of one or more people" (p. 289). Therefore, the leader of a group or of a group of friends can alter conformist behavior of the individual of the particular group into nonconformist behavior. For example, if a leader of a group believes that a particular rule or order did not need to be followed, such as not smoking cigarettes in school, he or she will alter the behavior of the group he or she leads to display nonconformist behavior by smoking in school.
Shiraev, E., & Levy, D. (2010). Cross-cultural psychology: Critical thinking and contemporary applications (4th ed). Boston: Pearson/Allyn Bacon.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Diversity Intelligence Worksheet

1.      Define Intelligence. (200-300 words)
          Defining intelligence is not a simple act because there are various ways to define it. Shiraev and Levy (2010), “for example, intelligence may be described as a set of mental abilities; the capacity to acquire and use knowledge; problem-solving skills and knowledge about the world; the ability to excel at a variety of tasks; or as a skill that allows us to understand, adapt, learn, reason, and overcome obstacles” (p. 121). Indeed definitions of intelligence vary but the majority of these definitions include the same particular details. The majority of definitions of intelligence include the term “knowledge” therefore, possessing intelligence is to know and understand reality. Definitions of intelligence bring attention to solving problems; which results in assuming intelligence are mental skill set that enables one to achieve goals (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Intelligence enables one to use skills and knowledge for overcoming impediments. Also, intelligence enables one to adapt to changing circumstances (Shiraev & Levy, 2010).
          Since there is a variety of definitions of intelligence, one must take into account all definitions and understand what possessing intelligence entails. Therefore, intelligence is a global capability of thinking in a rational means, acting in a purposeful means, overcoming impediments, and adapting to changes in the environment (Shiraev & Levy, 2010).

2.      Identify/List two (2) theories of intelligence.
Two important theories of intelligence are Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences and Louis Thurstone’s primary mental abilities.

3.      Discuss each identified theory of intelligence. (200-300 words)
          Howard Gardner argued that logic, knowledge, reason, and intelligence were not synonymous; therefore, he proposed a different means of viewing intelligence. Gardner developed the multiple intelligences theory for viewing intelligence in a new light. In this theory, Gardner took the concept of intelligence and expanded it by including the areas of interpersonal, special relations, and music knowledge along with linguistic and mathematical abilities (Brualdi, 1998). Brualdi (1998), “Gardner defined intelligence as the capacity to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural settings" (p. 1). Through the use of cultural and biological research, Gardner defined seven intelligences. Logical-Mathematical intelligence consists of abilities for deductive reasoning, detecting patterns, and logical thinking.  
          Linguistic intelligence involves mastering language; therefore, an individual has the ability of manipulating language for expressing him or herself in a rhetorical manner and for remembering information (Brualdi, 1998). Spatial intelligence enables an individual to create and manipulate mental images for problem solving. Musical intelligence includes enabling an individual’s ability for identifying and composing musical rhythms, tones, and pitches. Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence enables an individual to use his or her mental ability for coordinating his or her bodily movements (Brualdi, 1998). Personal intelligences include intrapersonal intelligence, which is the ability for understanding an individual’s own motivations and feelings, and interpersonal intentions and feelings of other individuals.
          Louis Thurstone developed the theory of primary mental abilities in contrast to other theories of intelligence. Thurstone did not view intelligence as singular ability; instead he viewed intelligence as primary mental abilities (Gottfredson & Saklofske, 2009). In fact, there are seven abilities, which include spatial visualization, associative memory, word fluency, numerical ability, perceptual speed, reasoning, and verbal comprehension. Thurstone used the primary mental abilities test for describing and measuring these abilities.   

4.      Discuss the effectiveness of intelligence testing (200-300 words)
          Intelligence testing has been a controversial topic with the general public, in education, and in psychology (Gottfredson & Saklofske, 2009). The validity of intelligence tests like with other psychological tests is compelling and strong. The validity of such testing is similar to the validity of medical tests. Intelligence tests provide critical sources of information that face to face interviews cannot duplicate. These types of tests can provide structured means to psychologist and clinicians for maximizing the validity of individualized assessments (Gottfredson & Saklofske, 2009). The comprehensive effectiveness of intelligence testing provides clinicians a variety of choices in what they are measuring and how they are measuring it (Daniel, 1997). Criticism of early intelligence tests was that they were only effective for assessing intelligence.                      However, in recent years intelligence tests are more effective and integrated. Especially, for the purpose of describing an individual completely in regards to job selection, academic placement, and for the purpose of assessing individuals’ potentials for recovering from brain injuries (Gottfredson & Saklofske, 2009). In educational and clinical settings, the effectiveness of intelligence tests are valuable tools used to understand an individual's weaknesses and strengths of intelligence for making predictions, diagnosis, and making treatments more precise (Daniel, 1997). Intelligence testing in recent years has become effective and invaluable tools.  

5.      Identify two examples of intelligence tests (A SPECIFIC type of intelligence test used to measure intelligence – not personality, aptitude, achievement, etc.).
          The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales are two examples of important intelligence tests.

6.      Discuss the two examples of intelligence tests identified in #5. (200-300 words)
          David Wechsler, psychologist, developed the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale for measuring adolescent and adult intelligence (Lippold & Claiborn, 1983). Wechsler developed his intelligence test in opposition of the Stanford-Binet test, which he thought had many limitations. Wechsler’s test provided a complete score similar to that of the Stanford-Binet test; however, Wechsler used a comparison of scores of individuals who took the test with other individuals in similar age groups. With a fixed score of 100, normal intelligence test scores fell between 85 and 115. Unlike the Binet-Standford-Binet test that depended more on assessing verbal abilities, the WIAS assessed nonverbal reasoning of individuals who took the test. As of today, four versions of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale exist, which are the WAIS, the WAIS-Revised, the WAIS-III, and the WAIS-IV.
          Alfred Binet developed the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, which has a history of providing data based on the importance decisions in regards to education (Janzen, Obrzut, & Marusiak, 2004). This test took an intelligence quotient (IQ) or singular score, which occurred by a means of dividing an individual’s mental age by his or her chronological age, then taking that number and multiply it by 100. As of today, there have been five editions of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales (Janzen, Obrzut, & Marusiak, 2004).

7.      Using the two intelligence tests you have identified, discuss how they do or do not address cultural considerations. (200-300 words)
          Intelligence testing like the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales fail in regards to addressing cultural considerations. These tests like several other tests show that different racial and ethnic groups score lower and higher than other ethnic groups; rarely does every racial and ethnic group possess similar scores in regards to intelligence. Therefore, these types of testing seem biased in regards to particular racial and ethnic group; yet seem to favor other racial and ethnic groups. For example, a particular racial or ethnic group may score higher or lower on these types of testing when answering general knowledge questions because certain events that lead to the knowledge of these general knowledge questions may not occur in every culture. Therefore, minority racial and ethnic groups may score lower on general knowledge questions than individuals of other racial and ethnic groups deemed the majority.
          The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales also fail to take into consideration language differences between differing racial and ethnical groups; which, also shows failure in addressing cultural considerations. These intelligence tests along with a variety of other intelligence tests are often features of debates because numerous individuals consider them to be culturally biased.

8.      What have you learned about intelligence tests and testing that you did not know/that surprises you the most? (50-100 words)
          What learning occurred as for intelligence tests is that often such tests are the subject of numerous debates. This is because individuals of minority racial and ethnic groups score lower than majority racial and ethnic groups. However, this does not deem that a majority racial or ethnic group possesses more intelligence than a minority racial or ethnic group. Also, intelligence tests are important measures for helping psychologist and clinicians gather and acquire substantive information, such as determining the recovery rate of an individual who has suffered a brain injury.   
Shiraev, E., & Levy, D. (2010). Cross-cultural psychology: Critical thinking and contemporary applications (4th ed). Boston: Pearson/Allyn Bacon.
Brualdi, A. (1998). Gardner's theory. Teacher Librarian, 26(2), 26-28. Retrieved from
Gottfredson, L., & Saklofske, D. H. (2009). Intelligence: Foundations and issues in assessment. Canadian Psychology, 50(3), 183-195. Retrieved from
Daniel, M. H. (1997). Intelligence testing: Status and trends. American Psychologist, 52(10), 1038-1045. doi:
Lippold, S., & Claiborn, J. M. (1983). Comparison of the wechsler adult intelligence scale and the wechsler adult intelligence scale-revised. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 51(2), 315. doi:

Janzen, H. L., Obrzut, J. E., & Marusiak, C. W. (2004). Stanford-binet intelligence scales. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 19(1), 235-244. Retrieved from

How is normal and abnormal behavior defined? What factors influence the definition? Why?

          The term "norm" refers to an authoritative standard; therefore, normal behavior correspondingly means it is behavior that abides by such standards (Allport, 1958). Hence, the term "abnormal" refers to a contradiction of an authoritative standard; therefore, abnormal behavior correspondingly means it is behavior that does not abide by such authoritative standards. Basically, normal behavior is viewed as culturally and socially normal and abnormal behavior is viewed as culturally and socially abnormal. One factor that determines whether behavior is normal or abnormal is what is considered a cultural or social norm. By taking into account what is a cultural or social norm one can determine if behavior deviates from such norms. Another factor one must consider is if behavior causes distress. If behavior does cause distress then such behavior is viewed as abnormal. Therefore, one should  determine if behavior is normal or abnormal by determining whether such behavior is socially acceptable and if it cause distress or not.  
Allport, G. W. (1958). PERSONALITY: NORMAL AND ABNORMAL. Sociological Review, 6(2), 167-180. doi:10.1111/1467-954X.ep13736717

Which one of the following plays a greater part in development: nature or nurture? Why?

          Nature versus nurture may be one of the oldest issue debated in psychology. This centuries old debate seems to remain an issue no matter how far psychology progresses. This debated issue is whether behaviors are inherited or learned after birth through one's environment. The belief of individuals who are pro-nature is that behaviors are inherited, while individuals who are pro-nurture believe that behaviors are learned. Human development that occurs after birth in relation to behavior and interactions within one's culture can be viewed as a result of both nature and nurture. Shiraev and Levy (2010), "human development is not only growth, but also decline and modification" (p.196). Therefore, both nature and nurture play a role in development but determining which plays the greater role is a hard task to prove. The impact of one's culture versus another individual's culture can have a greater affect upon one individual than upon another individual but this still does not determine if nature or nurture plays the greater role in development. I think that both nature and nurture play a role in development. As for which plays the greater role I am unsure because no definitive proof exists of whether nature plays a greater role in development or if nurture plays a greater role.
Shiraev, E., & Levy, D. (2010). Cross-cultural psychology: Critical thinking and contemporary applications (4th ed). Boston: Pearson/Allyn Bacon.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What is stress? Why do some ethnic groups have higher stress levels than others? How do individuals manage stress?

          Shiraev and Levy (2010), "the realization of a challenge to a person’s capacity to adapt to inner and outer demands is called stress" (p. 164). Stress is a response to psychological and metal processes, and can pose a threat or challenge to an individual's well-being. However, not all stress poses a threat to an individual's well-being. Certain forms of stress enable an individual to better handle particular situations at particular times. Stress may be related to one's perception of loss or lack of control in his or her life. Certain ethnic groups have higher stress levels because they have higher levels of chronic psychological stress because cardiovascular disease, which includes hypertension. Also certain ethnic groups have a higher impact of stress because of other risk factors, such as high cholesterol and financial risk factors, such as poverty. Certain individuals manage stress through stress-coping therapeutic strategies, such as through meditation and exercise.  
Shiraev, E. B. & Levy, D. A. (2010). Cross-cultural psychology: Critical thinking and contemporary applications (4th ed.). Boston: Pearson/Allyn Bacon.
Hicken, M. T., Lee, H., Morenoff, J., House, J. S., & Williams, D. R. (2014). Racial/Ethnic disparities in hypertension prevalence: Reconsidering the role of chronic stress. American Journal of Public Health, 104(1), 117-123. Retrieved from

How does the way in which you perceive the world influence your thought process? Provide a specific example in your response. What other factors do you think affect your thought process?

          An individual's perceptions of the world are what influences his or her thought processes. An individual's experiences in regards to his or her environment helps shape one's perception by creating perceptual expectations (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). A perceptual set or the aforementioned expectations are what makes certain interpretations possibly occur, and are what increases the efficiency and speed of the perceptual process (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). For instance, one who has positive emotional experiences with others within his or her environment may receive that he or she will have other positive emotional experiences in other environments. 
          Other factors that affect an individual's thought processes are usually based on cultural beliefs and such cultural beliefs shapes one's experiences; therefore, influences one's thought processes. Cultural beliefs are factors which include personal, religious, nonreligious, scientific, and traditional beliefs, as well as philosophies and political ideologies.
Shiraev, E., & Levy, D. (2010). Cross-cultural psychology: Critical thinking and contemporary applications (4th ed). Boston: Pearson/Allyn Bacon.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Introduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology

          The discipline of cross-cultural psychology is a means for identifying and comprehending what is similar and different as far as individual’s behavior, thoughts, emotions, and motivations across cultures (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Cross-cultural psychology extends the ability of connecting with other individuals through a vast admiration and knowledge. To have a clear understanding of cross-cultural psychology, one must possess knowledge and a definition of cultural and cross-cultural psychology and examine their relationship. Also, in cross-cultural psychology it is of importance is to understand critical thinking’s role and the methodology of cross-cultural research.
Definitions of Cultural and Cross-Cultural Psychology
Cultural Psychology
            To understand cultural psychology, one must understand its definition. Therefore, it pursues discovering consequential links among the psychology of individuals and their culture. This is a systematic relationship between psychological and cultural variables (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Cultural psychology’s key message is that the behavior of humans only has meaning in a sociocultural context where such behavior takes place. Its key focus is studying how, whether, and when individuals have the tendency of internalizing the qualities of his or her culture (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Cultural psychology also takes a stand as for advocating the notion that an individual’s mental processes, which are the result of an individual’s interaction with his or her culture.     
Cross-Cultural Psychology
          Also, to understand cross-cultural psychology, one must understand its definition. Therefore, it critically and comparatively studies the cultural effects on the psychology of humans (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). As a comparative field, cross-cultural psychology achieves any conclusion by a means of comparing two or more cultural groups. Since cross-cultural psychology has a comparative nature, it a necessity of its use of critical thinking and such thinking is inseparable from cross-cultural psychology. From a comparative perspective, cross-cultural psychology delves into examining psychological diversity and the fundamental reasoning behind this diversity (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Also, from a comparative perspective, cross-cultural psychology examines connections among behavior and cultural norms and means of differing and dissimilar influences; such as cultural and social forces toward activities of humans (Shiraev & Levy, 2010).  
          Examining interactions across cultures is another feature of cross-cultural psychology; therefore, its concern is about cultural groups’ differences and the establishments of psychological universalism, such as what are commonalities of individuals in numerous or possibly every culture. Such universalities could be personalities, patterns of enduring feelings, actions, and thoughts. As for personalities, findings from a global study show that traits such as extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness to experience are commonalities in individuals, in numerous countries (Shiraev & Levy, 2010).
Analysis of Cultural and Cross-Cultural Psychology’s Relationship
          The concern and study of both cultural and cross-cultural psychology is how culture affects individuals. Although, cultural psychology places more focus on how culture influences individuals, and cross-cultural psychology critically and comparatively studies the cultural effects on the psychology of individuals (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). While cross-cultural psychology is a means of comparing two or more cultural groups, cultural psychology tries to uncover the systematic relationship between psychological and cultural variables of cultural groups. Cultural psychology places emphasis on studying one culture and cross-cultural psychology take a broader approach as for studying two or more cultures. Cultural and cross-cultural psychologies contribute important knowledge in regards to the behavior of humans. However, they take different approaches in regards to explaining and understanding relationships between individuals’ psychology and culture.
          Cultural psychology provides cross-cultural psychology a framework by collecting data from differing cultures, which cross-cultural psychology uses within principles of psychology for testing, studying, and comparing. The relationship between cultural and cross-cultural psychology unveils how interpersonal and individual processes, such as information processing strategies, goals, and cognitions influence culture (Berry, 2004).
The Role of Critical Thinking in Cross-Cultural Psychology
          Cross-cultural psychology has a comparative nature; therefore, the necessary use of critical thinking is inseparable from cross-cultural psychology. The use of critical thinking is a requirement when comparing two or more cultures such as with a cross-cultural psychologist. Critical thinking is a necessity when learning and observing and is a critical aspect of cross-cultural psychology. Therefore, cross-cultural psychologist must use critical thinking skills when learning about and observing cultures and individuals of those cultures. Using such critical thinking skills elevates biased perspectives and reduces using biased information when studying cultures. Using critical thinking as an approach in cross-cultural psychology allows a psychologist to avoid any possible pitfalls when one conducts research and evaluates his or her findings (Zentall, 2008). Cultural variables can have an adverse effect on the research performed by psychological researchers in regards to the behavior of humans; therefore, by applying the use of critical thinking one negates biased views of cultural variables (Zentall, 2008).  
The Methodology Associated with Cross-Cultural Research
          When researchers desire to find what influences the differing aspects of behavior of humans in varying cultures, they seek the use of cross-cultural research for the answers. In doing so, researchers must conduct scientific investigations and choose appropriate methods to find answers. Cross-cultural research has four goals; description, interpretation, prediction, and management (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). After identifying these goals, researchers make the choice of relying on research methodologies, such as quantitative and qualitative research. Quantitative research involves using a comparative perspective for measuring the particulars of human behavior, which usually occurs by means of observations. Quantitative research uses measures of central tendency for describing the behavior of humans. Qualitative research usually occurs in a natural environment, whereas a participant carries out normal activities of daily life. Qualitative research seeks explanations for behavior and cognition, which is unobservable. 
          Cultural psychology pursues discovering the connection between human psychology and culture. Cross-cultural psychology studies cultural effects on the psychology of humans. The relationship between both of these fields of psychology is that both have a role in how the other studies and gains information in regards to human behavior and cultural effects. Critical thinking has an integral role in the investigative processes of cross-cultural psychology as for conducting research. Also, the research conducted in cross-cultural research depends on methodologies, such as quantitative and qualitative research to reframe from biasness in investigative processes.      
Shiraev, E., & Levy, D. (2010). Cross-cultural psychology: Critical thinking and contemporary applications (4th ed). Boston: Pearson/Allyn Bacon.
Berry, J. (2004). The psychological foundations of culture. Canadian Psychology, 45(4), 315-316. Retrieved from
Triandis, H. C., & Brislin, R. W. (1984). Cross-cultural psychology. American Psychologist, 39(9), 1006-1016. doi:

Zentall, T. R. (2008). Critical thinking in psychology. The Psychological Record, 58(1), 156-158. Retrieved from

Can expectations lead to stereotypes?

          Yes, indeed expectations can lead to stereotypes. Stereotypes are beliefs concerning the characteristics, behavior, and attributes of members of a particular group (Hilton & von Hippel, 1996). When an individuals makes expectations about a particular group's behavior this indeed leads to stereotypes, because certain individuals within that particular group may not behave such as in a means as other members of that group. For example, if a teacher only expects his or her Asian students to perform well on mathematical testing and expects White, Black, and Hispanic students to not perform as well, then he or she is imparting ethnic stereotyping. This example is a negative example of expectations and stereotyping; however, expectations and stereotyping are not always negative in nature. Although, expecting or making assumptions about a particular ethnicity can lead to negative stereotypes.     
Hilton, J. L., & von Hippel, W. (1996). Stereotypes. Annual Review Of Psychology, 47(1), 237.

What is the difference between ethnicity, race, and nationality? How are these concepts understood in the United States?

          Terms such as ethnicity, race, and nationality are often used interchangeably but there is a difference between these terms. Ethnicity commonly refers to the cultural heritage of individuals or racial ancestry; as well as those individuals shared experiences in relation to traditions, language, religion, and geographic territory. Race refers to groups of individuals with similar physical characteristics, which are genetically transmitted (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). Nationality refers to where an individual was born or naturalization. In the United States, numerous individual shares the same nationality because of being born in the United States but some individuals do not because of being born elsewhere. However, nationality may be different from one individual to another but they can share the same ethnicity or race. Therefore, the distention between an Italian male and an Italian-American male is that the first was born in Italy and the second was born in America but both share the same ethnicity.

Shiraev, E., & Levy, D. (2010). Cross-cultural psychology: Critical thinking and contemporary applications (4th ed). Boston: Pearson/Allyn Bacon.