Taking Culture into Account in Social Cognitive Development
AbstractCultural explanations have often been ignored in developmental psychology. The reasons for rejecting them are discussed and it is maintained that theories of development need to be culturally dependent. These reasons include the belief in the redundancy of collective and individual information, the argu ment that cultural learning is a passive and deterministic process and that cultural explanations do not predict and are unable to account for context effects and that cultural relativism is morally and logically indefensible. A review of cross-cultural research on person perception and interpersonal mo rality is presented. It is noted that cross-cultural attributional differences can be interpreted as resulting from contrasting cultural conceptions of the person and normative expectations. Further, in the area of interpersonal morality, contextual and developmental variations have highlighted the significance of cultural perspectives. Directions for future work are suggested.