Chapter 6: Culture and the Mind: Implications for Art, Design and Advertisement
Takahiko Masuda, Huaitang Wang, Kenichi Ito and Sawa Senzaki INTRODUCTION In the last 30 years, cultural psychology – an interdisciplinary field in the intersection of psychology, anthropology, linguistics, history, philosophy and neuroscience – has accumulated abundant evidence that humans are inherently sociocultural beings (Bruner, 1990; Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Miller, 1999; Shweder, 1991). Researchers in cultural psychology have investigated how the mind (perceptions, cognitions, motivations and emotions) is shaped by cultural content (shared meanings, ideas, institutions, practices and norms). These researchers have reported systematic cultural variations in a variety of psychological processes. Their findings cast doubt upon the basic theoretical assumptions of mainstream psychology, which still focuses mainly on the universality of the human mind. Some mainstream researchers regard culture as either playing a minor role in the processes of the human mind, or presenting obstacles to a clear understanding of the mind. However, because of accumulated empirical evidence, the assertions of cultural psychologists have gradually become influential in psychology and even in neuroscience, where researchers investigate the plasticity of the brain (Kitayama & Uskul, 2011). We maintain throughout this chapter that the implications of cultural psychology are not necessarily limited to academia. Rather, findings in cultural psychology have many potential implications for applied research in areas such as mass communication, business and advertising. The purpose of this chapter is to introduce findings in cultural psychology over the past 30 years to readers who are interested in their application, and to discuss theoretical frameworks and raw sources from cultural psychological research by which the...
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