Knowledge and Influence of Culture

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Indeed, many cultural psychologists are interested in whether cultural knowledge is utilized consciously or is automatic and subtle. However, Miyamoto and Wicken's (2010) study throws more insight on this topic. The authors argue that culture has a significant role in attributing meaning to interpersonal interactions. People, for instance, tend to utilize a perceptual style that appears to fulfill their cultural relevance, particularly if they are to influence others.

People frequently think or behave in a certain way, which is linked to cultural influences. For instance, a person from the West is likely to think differently to that person from the East on some issues (Chiu & Hong, 2006). An American, for instance, due to the individualistic culture is likely to behave in an individualistic version unlike a Chinese who are more inclined to collectivist attitudes (West, 2007). By merely examining the behavioral characteristics of an American vis-à-vis that of a Chinese, one can clearly see the magnitude of cultural influence.

Interestingly, cultural influence on people's thinking can be both beneficial and problematic. It is beneficial because culture is somewhat adaptive and may help people's brains to function better and subsequently help them reproduce more fruitfully (Chiu & Hong, 2006). In such a case, culture is seen as something that is quite critical in human survival and is also privy to the notions of those difficult to control and much larger forces in life. Unfortunately, cultural influences can be detrimental to the human survival (West, 2007). This can happen if the cultural setup seems to instill some perceptions to the general populace that might result to some discriminatory behaviors. Such trends are common in the Western cultures where the Whites often consider themselves superior over other races.


Chiu, C. & Hong, Y. (2006). Social psychology of culture (1st ed.). New York: Psychology Press.

Miyamoto, Y. & Wilken, B. (2010). Culturally Contingent Situated Cognition: Influencing Other People Fosters Analytic Perception in the United States but Not in Japan. Psychological Science, 21(11), 1616-1622.

West, C. (2007). How Culture Affects the Way We Think. Association for Psychological Science. Retrieved 1 January 2017, from

April 19, 2023

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