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"Behavioral Perspective on Cultural Differences"
Behavioral Perspective on Cultural Differences
Use the behavioral perspective to assess the extent to which differences in culture are related to differences in behavior. The behavioral perspective, pioneered by Ivan Pavlov and B.F. Skinner, contends that reinforcers, both positive and negative, determine the actions of an animal or individual. Since cultural values at least partly define what is perceived as a reward and to have value, culture must have a large effect on behavior, and, of course, its differences. Pavlov, famous for his experiments with dogs, found that dogs could be "classically conditioned" to salivate at the sound of a bell. An unconditioned response, their salivation to food, was paired with an unconditioned stimulus, a bell, just before food was given, and thus it was made a conditioned response to the bell. Skinner furthered these experiments and found that animals could be "operantly conditioned" or conditioned to act on their environment to attain a positive or negative reinforcer. A positive reinforcer is something that gives pleasure, while a negative reinforcer removes pain or discomfort. As mentioned previously, culture may help define reinforcers, such as encouragement or the removal of anxiety in a group of strangers. In Western Europe and North America, parents, according to cultural values, condition children to be independent and more outgoing than in Asian societies that value social harmony and loyalty. While a child who left his family in America to create a thriving business would be encouraged and revered, a child who left his family in China to survive on his own might receive a punishment of sorts in the way he was socially treated for abandoning his home. Western societies also often encourage the "get rich" mentality while Asian societies encourage hard work and determination. This has resulted in the spectacular success of the lottery, game shows, and the like....

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"Behavioral Perspective on Cultural Differences." Jul 17, 2018
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