Tapati (tapati) wrote,

Folk Models of Psychology

There's an interesting book out, Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche, that intrigues me. I studied psychological anthropology in college and one of the concepts we learned is that we grow up learning folk models for how our mind and emotions work and then for us, they actually do work this way. Perception, in other words, influences our reality. Cultural anthropology research has demonstrated this repeatedly.

So the premise of this book--that we are exporting our American understanding of psychology and treatment to other cultures, clashing with the host culture in some cases with very bad results--sounds true. I can only wonder what unforeseen effects this will have on psychology around the world and how it might limit our future understanding of human psychology. We stand to learn so much from viewing psychology as it manifests in different cultures. But if we stamp out those differences, we'll be much poorer for it.

This book is going on my wish list. :)
Tags: anthropology, psychology

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