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Humans are complex social beings. To understand human behaviour, an
integrated perspective is required – one which considers both what we
regularly do (our personality traits) and what motivates us (our values).
Personality, Values, Culture uses an evolutionary perspective to look at the
similarities and differences in personality and values across modern
societies. Integrating research on personality and human values into a
functional framework that highlights their underlying compatibilities
(driven by shared genetic and brain mechanisms), Fischer describes how
personality is shaped by the complex interplay between genes and the
environment, both over the course of human evolution and within the
lifespan of individuals. He proposes a gene-culture coevolution model of
personality and values to explain how and why people differ around the
world and how genes, economics, social conditions, and climate jointly
1. Introduction: the quest to understand the person; 2. Everything is change: a primer to
evolution; 3. The big five personality traits and human values; 4. Examining the common
structure of traits and values; 5. Explaining personality structures: the relative importance of genetic; 6. Searching for the underlying mechanisms in the brain and the situation and cultural differences in values and traits; 7. Is the personality world two-dimensional? The (in)stability of the trait-value structure across cultures; 8. understanding structural variation:resources, threats and the power of the situation; 9. Values and traits as adaptive strategies;10. Traits and values across the lifespan; 11. Evolutionary genetics of personality; 12. Whyshould we care about personality, culture and evolution?
Understanding Social Psychology Across Cultures (Second Edition) was a great collaboration and intellectual challenge. Surveying the whole of our field, we brought together all the research to explore answers to the questions that motivated us to study cultural differences in human behavior. In this book we show how culture influences how we see ourselves, how we interact with each other and the implications for society and our increasingly connected world.
We started off asking why we need a cultural perspective for social psychology. We then present how researchers have studied culture and cultural differences and where these differences may come from. Equipped with these insights, we then focus on core areas of social psychology and show how cultural lenses enrich our understanding of group processes, self and identity, or intergroup relations. The most exciting part was to write the final section of the book, in which we discussed themes of contemporary relevance including migration, ethnic conflict and climate change.
Throughout the book, we have strived to make concepts and theories accessible to the reader by using practical examples and everyday life experiences from diverse parts of the world. Bringing together an author team located on three different continents has helped us to diversify our cultural perspectives.
We also tried to show the human side of research, including short biographical portraits of key researchers in the field.
Importantly, good research needs solid foundations. We extended our coverage of appropriate methods for conducting state-of-the-art cross-cultural research.
We wrote the book for students of social and cross-cultural psychology, but it may also interest anyone who is working with culturally diverse groups and wants to understand the impact of culture on their fields of work, such as international relations, social policy, health promotion, ethnic relations and international business.
I hope you find this textbook useful for your work, study and research. We hope our enthusiasm is inspiring you and helps you to explore and understand the role of culture in our everyday life. If you have comments or suggestions, please get in touch, I would love to hear from you!