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Culture and Cognition

A collection of critical essays

Edited By Shamsul Haque and Elizabeth Sheppard

The past few decades have seen a huge increase in global interest in psychology, with more psychologists, psychology programmes and students than ever before. Culture and Cognition: A collection of critical essays is made up of chapters written by experts in each topic, and is aimed at those wishing to learn more about psychology. While culture and cognition have frequently been regarded as separate areas of study in psychology, this book brings together essays on both of these topics as well as several that consider the direct interplay between culture and thinking.
Essays focus on a range of fascinating topics, such as how culture affects memory for events in our own lives or our perceptions of human attractiveness. Essays also address a diverse range of psychological phenomena like déjà-vu, savant abilities, non-suicidal self-injury, theory of mind, problem gambling and sleep disorders. Socio-cultural and professional issues specifically within the Asian context are also discussed.
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Introduction

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Psychology is a fast-moving discipline and has witnessed some important developments in recent years. These changes have arisen partly from the wide variety of new and sophisticated methods for investigation which have become available. For example, brain imaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging have enabled us to start determining the neural underpinnings of thought and behavior. Meanwhile, eye-tracking technologies can be used to identify with a high degree of precision where a person is looking, allowing researchers to make inferences about the ways in which people perceive, attend to, and ultimately come to know their environment. However, it is not just technology that has had a major impact on psychology as a modern discipline. Society itself is becoming increasingly globalized and this leads to an ever-changing set of challenges for psychologists who aim to understand the mind and behavior in this context. Due to the faster pace of development, people who are interested to learn about psychology often face difficulty in finding materials that address current issues in the subject, while being relatively accessible. In this collection of essays, some popular topics in contemporary social and cognitive psychology are discussed by academics who are specialists in the field.

The broader theme of this volume is “culture and cognition”. We carefully selected fourteen essays that form three distinct parts of this book. The first part comprises four essays that stand at the crossroads of culture and cognition, showing how socio-cultural variables (e.g., cultural models) influence...

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