Biological and Ecological Classes of Culture

  Psychology is a science with abounding applications. It pertains to nearly all aspects of human life and behavior. It reveals mysteries about people, and culture as well. Psychology plays a large role in the field of Anthropology, a field devoted to piecing together the puzzle of cultures around the world. The area of psychology best suited for this field is named cross-cultural psychology.

Psychology and Anthropology are two studies that go hand in hand. To study one is to use the other. Anthropology is reliant on the science of behavior, to better grasp culture. Cross-cultural psychology explores human nature through a deep understanding of the relevant cultural context (including history) and the cultural aspects embedded within it that shape human cognition, emotion, motivation, and behavior in cross-culturally divergent ways. This can be used to determine why a culture does what it does, therefore pertains to Anthropology.

The cross-cultural research investigates social behaviors, personality differences, problem-solving intellectual abilities, perceptual abilities, and aesthetics. Cultures differ with respect to two major classes of variables: biological and ecological. Biological variables include such factors as diet, genetics, and endemic diseases. Ecological variables include such factors as geography, climate, political systems, population density, religion, cultural myths, and education. Behavioral differences among people of different cultures result from differences in biological and ecological variables. From an Anthropological standpoint, this would be helpful in tracing a culture’s roots through its behavior.

An example to back this up would be the situation of the American Indian and the culture they once had. For an Anthropologist to fully understand the culture and their situation, the field of cross-cultural psychology would be applied. It would be used to show how the Indian’s attitudes towards whites have changed throughout the years, as a result of their drastic change in culture and environment.

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