Viewing Development Through the Lens of Culture: Integrating Developmental and Cultural Psychology to Better Understand Cognition and Behavior

Heiphetz, Larisa A.; Oishi, Shigehiro

Although many definitions of culture exist, studies in psychology typically conceptualize different cultures as different countries. In this article, we argue that cultural psychology also provides a useful lens through which to view developmental milestones. Like other forms of culture, different developmental milestones are demarcated by shared values and language as well as transmission of particular social norms. Viewing development through the lens of cultural psychology sheds light on questions of particular interest to cultural psychologists, such as those concerning the emergence of new cultures and the role of culture in shaping psychological processes. This novel framework also clarifies topics of particular interest to developmental psychology, such as conflict between individuals at different milestones (e.g., arguments between older and younger siblings) and age-related changes in cognition and behavior.


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Perspectives on Psychological Science

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January 24, 2022