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Culture and Cognition

A collection of critical essays

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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Factors influencing voting behaviour in Malaysia


The political structure in Malaysia is indeed complex as it combines constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. Within the parliamentary democratic system, political parties require public support to assume power and rule the country. In order to enjoy continued public confidence, ruling parties often adopt pro-people policies and ensure good governance at every level of the administration (Bardes & Oldendick, 2007). As a country that contains three major ethnic communities, Malaysia is well known for practicing consociational government system since its independence in 1957. Four main features of consociational systems as identified by Lijphart are: (a) grand coalition government (parties from different segments of society), (b) segmental autonomy (in the cultural sector), (c) proportionality (in the voting system and public sector employment) and (d) minority veto (as cited in Wolff, 2006). Similar political systems are practiced in several other countries such as Lebanon, Cyprus, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium and Fiji. The term for the Malaysian parliament is five years and the country organised its 13th general election on 5th May 2013 with an impressive 84.84% voter turnout (The Star, 2013). Subsequent analysis on the voting pattern revealed that socio-economic factors played a significant role in changing political dynamics in the country (Raslan, 2013). Aspects such as political trends, political choice and voting behavior are generally examined using electoral results (Ahmad, 1999; Khalid & Awang, 2008), but voters’ psychological dispositions are rarely examined in the Malaysian context.

Psychological factors such as personality traits (Schoen & Schumann, 2007)...

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