The Importance Of Cultural Priming

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The Importance of Cultural Priming Word Count: 706 words (excluding in-text citations and Works Cited) Chapter 3 of Understanding Emotion delves deeper into the fundamental mechanism behind emotions by looking into how they simultaneously unite and separate cultures from one another. One of the most compelling dichotomies that the textbook creates is in between Western and Eastern cultures. The book originally presents the argument that it is nearly impossible to compare the two cultures based on individuals reporting due to the vast difference between how their society has conditioned them to respond to events in their lives (Kalat 95). In response, it introduces cultural priming as a tool “us[ing] an experimental manipulation to make one of each person’s cultural identities especially salient before conducting the rest of the study” (Kalat 96). Initially, the idea that researchers sought to separate one’s culture on the basis of cultural priming seemed impossible since I had the notion- as a bicultural person myself- that ones’ different cultures melded to contribute to one’s whole, inseparable identity. However, after further research, I will argue that, despite initial impressions, cultural priming is an efficient way to study and understand bicultural participants at a deeper level. In one study, Schindler, et al. looked into the effect that cultural priming would have on how Polish-German immigrants chose to identify themselves. To accomplish this, the researchers administered a set of questions asking how strongly the participants felt German or Polish in a preliminary survey; following this, the researchers then gave a fictional exam meant to test innovative thinking (Schindler, et al. 236). Cultural priming only becam... ... middle of paper ... ...e partipants that were culturally primed for American culture (Marsh, et al. 40). Therefore, cultural priming in this experiment was used to show that culture, rather than race is relevant when establishing a sense of group identity in this study. Therefore, as a result of cultural priming, this provides further insight into how individuals choose to identify themselves among various groups. In conclusion, although it seemed impossible to separate one part of an individual’s identity from the other, cultural priming has proven to be a tool that gives an insight into how bicultural people choose to identify themselves based on their circumstances. On a larger scale, the implications are endless, as it can offer a deeper understanding into how cultures around the world converge and diverge, providing a deeper look into how we define and perceive the world around us.
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