Cross-Cultural Psychology as a Scholarly Discipline
On the Flowering of Culture in Behavioral Research
Marshall H. Segall Walter J. Lonner John W. Berry
Syracuse University Western Washington University Queens University
A history ofshows it to be an increasingly important part of modern psychology. Despite widespread agreement that culture is an indispensable component in the understanding of human behavior, there are noteworthy conceptual differences regarding the ways in which culture and behavior interrelate. Perspectives include absolutism and relativism, each with methodological consequences for such contemporary research concerns as values (including individualism-collectivism), gender differences, cognition, aggression, intergroup relations, and psychological acculturation. Societal concerns relating to these topics are briefly described. When all of psychology finally takes into account the effects of culture on human behavior (and vice versa), terms like cross-cultural and cultural psychology will become unnecessary.
an it still be necessary, as we approach the millennium (as measured on the Western, Christian calendar), to advocate that all social scientists, psychologists especially, take culture seriously into account when attempting to understand human behavior? This has been a self-evident proposition to all whose work has long been identified with cross-cultural psychology (e.g., Berry et al., 1997) and its many constituent p a r t s - - " c u l tural psychology" (Shweder & Sullivan, 1993), "ethnopsychology" (Diaz-Guerrero, 1975), "societal psycholo g y " (Berry, 1983), and "lapsychologie interculturelle" (Camilleri & Vinsonneau, 1 9 9 6 ) - - a s well as its closest related disciplines--"psychological anthropology" (Bock, 1994; Hsu, 1972; LeVine, 1973, 1982), and "comparative anthropology" (Ember & Ember, 1988; Munroe & Munroe, 1997; Whiting & Child, 1953). It was long ago asserted, as if it were a dictum, namely, "human behavior is...