Personality and Person Perception across Cultures

Personality and Person Perception across Cultures

Personality and Person Perception across Cultures

Personality and Person Perception across Cultures

Synopsis

Neither human nature nor personality can be independent of culture. Human beings share certain social norms or rules within their cultural groups. Over 2000 years ago, Aristotle held that man is by nature a social animal. Similarly, Xun Kuang (298-238 B. C.), a Chinese philosopher, pointed out that humans in social groups can not function without shared guidance or rules.

This book is designed to provide readers with a perspective on how people are different from, and similar to, each other --both within and across cultures. One of its goals is to offer a practical guide for people preparing to interact with those whose cultural background is different from their own.

Excerpt

Human nature cannot be independent of culture. Neither can human personality. Human beings do share certain social norms or rules within their cultural groups. More than 2000 years ago, Aristotle held that man is by nature a social animal. Similarly, Xun Kuang (298-238 B.C.), a Chinese philosopher, pointed out that humans in social groups cannot function without shared guidance or rules. Therefore, each culture or cultural group establishes its own norms. Constantly, these norms and rules are connected with the behavior and personality of members within a culture and society. Modal personality, as often studied by anthropological psychologists and stereotype accuracy as studied by sociocultural psychologists, are continuing exploration of the links between personality and culture.

This volume is, among other things, the product of our experiences in dealing with the personalities of contributors who are shaped by their respective cultures. For example, the personalities of our African or Chinese contributors are not identical with those of North American authors. Although their personalities are colored by their respective cultures, this does not imply that there are no individual differences within a culture. Nor does it imply that there are no similarities between Africans, Americans, Canadians, Chinese, Germans, Indians, Mexicans, just to name the nations represented in this project. After all, we are human beings and we live in the global village.

Thus, this volume aims to provide readers with a view of how we are different from, and similar to, each other, both within a culture and across cultures. the research on personality in culture presented here is not only a scientific endeavor but also a practical guide for people preparing to interact with those whose cultural background is different from their own.

Acknowledgments

We received help and support from the following individuals. Linda Albright (Westfield State College of Massachusetts), Dana Bramel (State University of New York at Stony Brook), David Funder (University of California at Riverside), Ryan Kane and Brian Sicard (Westfield State College of Massachusetts), and Dean Peabody (Swarthmore College) as-

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