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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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Changing family perceptions across cultures: The Malaysian context

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The link between culture, self and the family is an interesting one to consider. Experiences within the family and views people hold toward the family often differ across cultures. The unique cultural and historical backgrounds and the pattern of socioeconomic change play a big role in shaping and influencing these family experiences and views. Individuals from different cultures often think about their families, their relationships with the family, the roles, responsibilties and commitment within the family differently. Families in Asia are seen as unique not only because of the more collectivistic and hierarchical relationships, tighter and more conservative family norms and roles within the family and the closer relations between family members, but also beacuse of the rapid socioeconomic change that has influenced the lives and beliefs of people in the region in recent decades (e.g., Kagitcibasi, 2007). Social change often influences what is required of the people, including their roles and responsibilities in both work and family. For example, industrial and economic developments in Malaysia in the 1990s and 2000s have seen more women entering the labour force, and increasing demands placed upon them in handling work and responsibilties in both work and home (Ahmad, 2007). Other macro- or higher level variables also impact on family perceptions, and the interrelationships between the societal, cultural and individual-level factors and views and attitudes toward the family should be noted. This chapter outlines the ways in which individuals think about the family, how sociocultural factors influence these views and attitudes,...

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