Fundamental questions in cross-cultural psychology
Cross-cultural psychology has come of age as a scientific discipline, but how has it developed? The field has moved from exploratory studies, in which researchers were mainly interested in finding differences in psychological functioning without any clear expectation, to detailed hypothesis tests of theories of cross-cultural differences. This book takes stock of the large number of empirical studies conducted over the last decades to evaluate the current state of the field. Specialists from various domains provide an overview of their area, linking it to the fundamental questions of cross-cultural psychology such as how individuals and their cultures are linked, how the link evolves during development, and what the methodological challenges of the field are. This book will appeal to academic researchers and postgraduates interested in cross-cultural research.
This chapter presents and contrasts my individual-level and culture-level theories and suggests how to apply them fruitfully together. It is structured as follows: First, I explicate each theory, specifying its constructs and the relations among them and citing evidence to support them. Next, I compare the empirical structures obtained when the same values data are analyzed at the two levels of analysis and discuss how to interpret these structures as expressions of individual personality and of societal culture. I then contrast the causes of individual differences in basic values and the causes of societal differences in cultural orientations. Next, I present and illustrate the questions that cultural orientations are suited to address and the different questions that individual values are suited to address. Finally, I discuss and illustrate how multi-level analyses that exploit both types of values together can explain national and individual differences in behavior and attitudes.