How do socio-ecological factors shape culture? Understanding the process of micro-macro interactions

Curr Opin Psychol. 2020 Apr;32:115-119. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2019.06.033. Epub 2019 Jul 15.


Socio-ecological environments produce certain psychological functions. that are adaptive for survival in each environment. Past evidence suggests that interdependence-related psychological features are prevalent in East Asian cultures partly due to the history of 'rice-crop farming' (versus herding) in those areas. However, it is unclear how and why certain functional behaviors required by the socio-ecological environment are sublimated to become cultural values, which are then transmitted and shared among people. In this paper, we conceptually review the works examining various macro sharing processes for cultural values, and focus on the use of multilevel analysis in elucidating the effect of both macro and individual level factors. Uchida et al.'s study (2019) suggests that collective activities at the macro level (community-level), which is required by a certain socio-ecological environment, promote interdependence not only among farmers but also non-farmers. The multilevel processes of how psychological characteristics are construed by macro factors will be discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Culture*
  • Humans
  • Social Behavior*
  • Social Environment*
  • Social Interaction*