Essay on General Psychology And Its Psychological Processes

Essay on General Psychology And Its Psychological Processes

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General psychology is often invested in establishing universal abstractions regarding human thought, mental functioning and psychological processes. Shweder (as cited in Heines, 2012) argues, that the proclivity toward universality stems from a conception of the “mind as a highly abstract central processing unit (CPU) that operates independently of the content that it is thinking about or of the context within which it is thinking” (p. 7). When viewed from a universalist perspective, classifying the universal mechanisms that construct the functions of the mind offers certain insights into the biological likenesses that permeate the human race. Yet, the variabilities that exists among and between cultures shed light on the adaptability of human nature and elasticity of the mind and its psychological processes.
Cultural psychologists on the other hand declare that, “[b]ecause human beings are cultural beings, their actions, thoughts, and feelings are immersed in cultural information, and their actions, thoughts, and feelings are immersed in cultural information, and this information renders these actions, thoughts, and feelings to be meaningful” (Heine, 2012, p. 8). Moreover, in a scientific study (Kitayama et al. as cited in Heines, 2012) where students from different cultures were asked to perform same task, results reveal that, “[t]he same task, then, elicits different patterns of brain activation across culture” (p. 9). The evidence presented by Kitayama et al. (as cited in Heines, 2012), suggests that culturally embedded experiences shape the manner in which the brain responds to external situations and stimuli. Under the cultural construct the same action can hold different meaning depending on the cultural context in w...

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...” (p.12). The variations in psychological processes are indicative of difference in social systems, primary socializing institutions, cultural symbols, artifacts, beliefs and normative values.
In summary, cultural meanings are intertwined with the functionality of the mind. As such, the operational systems ascribed to the mind are inseparable from the culture in which its resides. “Cultures emerges from the interaction of the various minds of the people that live within them and cultures then, in turn, shape the ways that those minds operate” (p. 12). Subsequently, our thoughts, behaviors and expressions of self are inexorably shaped by culturally imbued beliefs and values. Hence, an individual’s thought processes are molded, constrained and mediated by their cultural knowledge and experiences which are differentially fashioned within the context of culture.

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