Principles‎ > ‎

Principle III

Culture influences behaviour.

Outlining the principle

Culture is defined as a set of rules, both implicit and explicit, established by groups in order to ensure their survival, involving attitudes, values, beliefs, norms, and behaviour, that are passed down from generation to generation. What we learn from our culture creates a set of schema that help us to interpret the world and decide how to behave. Hofstede proposed dimensions of culture - that is, perspectives based on a culture's beliefs and norms for behaviour. SCLOA psychologists believe that these dimensions play a key role on our behaviour. 

Relevant studies

Any studies of dimensions would be relevant. Studies on conformity (Berry), helping behaviour (Whiting & Whiting), flashbulb memory (Wang), or any other study that shows how differences in culture may affect behaviour.

Making the link between the study and the principle

The link is made by explaining how the cultural factor plays a role in the behaviour. For example, in Berry's study on conformity, collectivistic societies are often agriculturally based. They need to cooperate in order to survive. Thus, independence is not valued - meaning that conformity to group norms is an expectation in society.