Many forms of culture

Am Psychol. 2009 Apr;64(3):194-204. doi: 10.1037/a0015308.


Psychologists interested in culture have focused primarily on East-West differences in individualism-collectivism, or independent-interdependent self-construal. As important as this dimension is, there are many other forms of culture with many dimensions of cultural variability. Selecting from among the many understudied cultures in psychology, the author considers three kinds of cultures: religion, socioeconomic status, and region within a country. These cultures vary in a number of psychologically interesting ways. By studying more types of culture, psychologists stand to enrich how they define culture, how they think about universality and cultural specificity, their views of multiculturalism, how they do research on culture, and what dimensions of culture they study. Broadening the study of culture will have far-reaching implications for clinical issues, intergroup relations, and applied domains.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cultural Competency
  • Culture*
  • Humans
  • Religion and Psychology*
  • Social Class
  • Social Identification
  • Socioeconomic Factors