Societies around the world are a tapestry of cultural diversity weaved in globalization to narrate the inherent value of pluralism as a panacea for good mental health, happiness, and the good life. The scientific construction of culture is also a mosaic of ethnic and racial proxies; national worldviews such as individualism and collectivism; and construals of the self as independent and interdependent. Similarly, the culture of psychological health has been informed by the ethnocentric Western paradigm of clinical psychology looking at the “dark” psychopathological side of life and positive psychology focusing on the hedonic and eudaimonic traditions of well-being. Nevertheless, cultural pluralism (multiculturalism) and globalization have contributed to unveiling the limits of the Western paradigm in which both clinical psychology and positive psychology have been embedded and the imperative for a paradigm shift beyond the Western paradigm. The revisioning of clinical psychology as cultural clinical psychology and positive psychology as cultural positive psychology has contributed to the emergence of the more inclusive cultural psychological health perspective. Cultural psychological health considers the culture and psychological health interface to bring light on an integrated approach that narrates how mental health problems are conceptualized, expressed, and ameliorated culturally and how positive mental health is understood, desired, pursued, and promoted culturally. In addition to inclusivity, cultural psychological health pursues scientific inquiry and knowledge through both quantitative and qualitative methodologies and invokes a science and practice informed by the ethical imperatives of cultural competence and cultural humility with social responsiveness to local and global suffering, happiness, and flourishing.
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Shahe S. Kazarian
Glenn Adams, Annabella Osei-Tutu, and Adjeiwa Akosua Affram
Standard constructions of history pose a celebratory narrative of progress via modern individualist development. In contrast, decolonial perspectives emphasize the coloniality inherent both in Eurocentric modernity and in the individualist selfways associated with Eurocentric modernity. The coloniality of modern individualist selfways is evident not only in the racialized violence that enabled their characteristic experience of freedom from constraint, but also in the epistemic violence that results from the imposition of these ways of being as a developmental standard. Research in West African settings illuminates these forms of epistemic violence. Standard accounts tend to pathologize West African ways of being as immature or suboptimal in relation to a presumed universal developmental pathway toward psychological autonomy. A decolonial response, rooted in decolonial perspectives of Southern theory or epistemology, follows two analytic strategies that disrupt standard accounts. One strategy draws upon local understanding to illuminate the adaptive value of West African patterns. Rather than manifestations of backwardness on a trajectory of modern individualist development, these ways of being reflect developmental trajectories that emerged as an adaptation to cultural ecologies of embeddedness. The other strategy draws upon West African settings as a standpoint from which to denaturalize the modern individualist selfways that hegemonic perspectives regard as just-natural standards. Rather than naturally superior forms, the widespread promotion of modern individualist selfways has harmful consequences related to the narrow pursuit of personal fulfillment and corresponding disinvestment in broader solidarities. With the growth orientation of modern individualist development pushing the planet toward a future of ecological catastrophe, decolonial perspectives direct attention to West African and other communities in the Global South for ways of being, rooted in Other understandings of the past, as a pathway to a sustainable and just future.
Gaze control involves eyes, head, and body movements and is guided by mainly three types of information: visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive. Appropriate gaze control is a basis for actions such as reaching, grasping, eating, and manipulation, all of which develop during the first year of life. The development of gaze control is about how young infants gain access to these different kinds of information, how they come to use them, and how they come to coordinate head and eyes to accomplish it. This control develops during the first few weeks of life. A major challenge for the gaze controlling system is how gaze is stabilized on a moving target to keep vision clear, including during self-motion or the compensation of other sudden movements. Furthermore, the tracking has to be timed relative to the object motion. This requires prediction, which is a part of smooth pursuit that emerges at around six weeks and is in full function at three months. The smooth eye and head movements must add up in time and space to the object motion. Then the vestibular and visual neural signals must be properly added. Catch-up saccades compensate when the smooth pursuit is insufficient. In other situations, saccades shift the gaze between objects or situations. Moreover, if a moving object temporarily disappears out of view, one or several saccades predictively recapture the object at the reappearance position (four months). The complex and fast development of gaze has inspired the design of robotic vision (iCub) through processes similar to human development, thus increasing the robot’s flexibility and learning abilities
Thomas F. Pettigrew
The discipline of psychology has an extremely broad range—from the life sciences to the social sciences, from neuroscience to social psychology. These distinctly different components have varying histories of their own. Social psychology is psychology’s social science wing. The major social sciences—anthropology, economics, sociology, and political science—all had their origins in the 19th century or even earlier. But social psychology is much younger; it developed both in Europe and North America in the 20th century. The field’s enormous growth over the past century began modestly with a few scant locations, several textbooks, and a single journal in the 1920s. Today’s social psychologists would barely recognize their discipline in the years prior to World War II. But trends forming in the 1920s and 1930s would become important years later. With steady growth, especially starting in the 1960s, the discipline gained thousands of new doctorates and multiple journals scattered throughout the world. Social psychology has become a recognized, influential, and often-cited social science. It is the basis, for example, of behavioral economics as well as such key theories as authoritarianism in political science. Central to this extraordinary expansion were the principal events of mid-20th century. World War II, the growth of universities and the social sciences in general, rising prosperity, statistical advances, and other global changes set the stage for the discipline’s rapid development. Together with this growth, social psychology has expanded its topics in both the affective and cognitive domains. Indeed, new theories are so numerous that theoretical integration has become a prime need for the discipline.
The intelligence test consists of a series of exercises designed to measure intelligence. Intelligence is generally understood as mental capacity that enables a person to learn at school or, more generally, to reason, to solve problems, and to adapt to new (challenging) situations. There are many types of intelligence tests depending on the kind of person (age, profession, culture, etc.) and the way intelligence is understood. Some tests are general, others are focused on evaluating language skills, others on memory, on abstract and logical thinking, or on abilities in a wide variety of areas, such as, for example, recognizing and matching implicit visual patterns. Scores may be presented as an IQ (intelligence quotient), as a mental age, or simply as a point on a scale. Intelligence tests are instrumental in ordering, ranking, and comparing individuals and groups. The testing of intelligence started in the 19th century and became a common practice in schools and universities, psychotechnical institutions, courts, asylums, and private companies on an international level during the 20th century. It is generally assumed that the first test was designed by the French scholars A. Binet and T. Simon in 1905, but the historical link between testing and experimenting points to previous tests, such as the word association test. Testing was practiced and understood in different ways, depending not only on the time, but also on the concrete local (cultural and institutional) conditions. For example, in the United States and Brazil, testing was immediately linked to race differences and eugenic programs, while in other places, such as Spain, it was part of an attempt to detect “feebleness” and to grade students at certain schools. Since its beginning, the intelligence test received harsh criticism and triggered massive protests. The debate went through the mass media, leading to the infamous “IQ test wars.” Thus, nowadays, psychologists are aware of the inherent danger of cultural discrimination and social marginalization, and they are more careful in the promotion of intelligence testing. In order to understand the role the intelligence test plays in today’s society, it is necessary to explore its history with the help of well-documented case studies. Such studies show how the testing practice was employed in national contexts and how it was received, used, or rejected by different social groups or professionals. Current historical research adopts a more inclusive perspective, moving away from a narrative focused on the role testing played in North-America. New work has appeared that explores how testing was taking place in different national and cultural environments, such as Russia (the former Soviet Union), India, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Argentina, Chile, and many other places.
Within the course of a day people perform innumerable feats of memory. They are involved in remembering when they search for their keys, find their way through a city, reminisce on episodes from their past, or join in commemorations such as independence days and religious rituals. Culture plays a crucial role in all of these mnemonic activities. Memories come into being and take form through both a set of internalized cultural conventions, specific to the society in question, as well as a particular setting therein (e.g., therapy, court of law or church). Furthermore, culture has arguably shaped how memory is understood and the uses it has been put to, as can be seen in how the concept has differed across history and societies. But what is culture and how does it operate? Although culture has been variably understood throughout history and even by researchers in the early 21st century, there is consensus that it is something that is taken over from society, rather than being innate, and transmitted across generations with modifications. In psychology it is typically operationalized in two ways: In cross-cultural psychology it is something one belongs in (usually a national group) as a function of language, traditions, and geo-political borders, while in cultural psychology it is approached as a psychological tool that shapes and enables memory. Taking account of culture provides an opening to investigate memory socialization, setting specificity, and collective remembering.
Diane M. Rodgers
Instinct has been one of the more contentious concepts throughout the history of psychology and social psychology. Broadly defined, instinct is considered innate, patterned behavior for living organisms that does not require learning or experience. Almost all early psychologists engaged in the study of instincts, and many attempted to classify them. One of the debates that emerged was whether there is a simple dichotomy between instinct and reason, with animals endowed with instinct for survival but only humans with the ability to rely on reason. With more influence from Darwin’s evolutionary theory, however, the idea that instincts were modifiable and a common trait for humans and animals became accepted. This also led to the idea that human instincts could be understood by examining the instincts of animals and the mental development of children. With the arrival of behaviorism, the concept of instinct began to fall out of favor altogether, and all behaviors were attributed to learning or conditioning. More recently, evolutionary psychologists have reclaimed the notion of instinct, although the understanding of this concept still varies and has an uncertain fate in the discipline.
Rolf Van Dick and Lucas Monzani
Positive leadership is a major domain of positive organizational scholarship. The adjective “positive” applies to any leader behavioral pattern (style) that creates the conditions by which organizational members can self-actualize, grow, and flourish at work. Some examples of style are authentic, transformational, servant, ethical, leader–member exchange, identity leadership, and the leader character model. Despite the myriad constructive outcomes that relate to said positive leadership styles, positive leadership it is not without its critics. The three main criticisms are that (a) the field is fragmented and might suffer from conceptual redundancy, (b) extant research focuses on the individual level of analysis and neglects reciprocal and cross-level effects, and (c) positive leadership is naïve and not useful for managing organizations. Our multilevel model of positive leadership in organizations proposes that leaders rely on internalization and integration to incorporate meaningful life experiences and functional social norms into their core self. Further, through self-awareness and introspection, leaders discover and exercise their latent character strengths. In turn, positive leaders influence followers through exemplary role modeling and in turn followers validate leaders by adopting their attributes and self-determined behaviors. At the team level of analysis, positive team leaders elevate workgroups into teams by four mechanisms that shape a shared “sense of we,” and workgroup members legitimize positive leaders by granting them a leader role identity and assuming follower role identities. Finally, at the organizational level, organizational leaders can shape a virtuous culture by anchoring it on universal virtues and through corporate social responsibility actions improve their context. Alternatively, organizations can shape a virtuous culture through organizational learning.
Vivan Zayas and Ezgi Sakman
One of the defining features of human experience is the formation and maintenance of affiliative and attachment ties. As these ties offer numerous adaptive advantages, human beings have evolved behavioral and neurobiological systems to ensure their formation and maintenance. The need to affiliate is pervasive and powerful. Consequently, the affiliative system is hypersensitive to social cues signaling any possibility that the ties could be under threat. This alarm system motivates restorative behavior, ensuring valued social ties are protected. Whereas affiliative ties can develop between any two individuals, attachment bonds are typically formed with a few significant others, and in many cases only one person serves as the main attachment figure. The attachment system functions in a similar way in both infancy and adulthood, ensuring proximity to attachment figures in the face of physical and psychological threats. Even though the need to form affiliative ties and attachment bonds has been shown to be universal, significant cross-cultural variations in how they unfold are also reported. Both the affiliative and the attachment systems protect the individual against various risks and aid in maintaining a physically and psychologically healthy existence via regulating the stress reactivity system.
David E. Rast III and Christine Kershaw
Although social influence and leadership are inextricably intertwined, with a few notable exceptions, they are typically discussed in isolation from one another. The overlap of methods of social influence and theories of leadership, however, makes it clear these topics should be discussed together. Furthermore, the involvement of group norms, which are group-based social constructs related to values within the group, clearly link leadership and social influence research. Group norms are involved in social influence via such group-oriented influences as conformity, and they are involved in leadership by setting the values used to determine the group’s leader. Understanding the relationship between and the potential limitations of social influence and leadership will provide researchers in both fields with a stronger foundation for future areas of inquiry.