Culture Psych Culture and Human Essay

Pages: 3 (893 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Psychology

, 2011).

A social psychological investigation of the gift giving in North America and particularly the United States, the behavior was found to be a way of almost ranking the significance and the intimacy that exists in various relationships (Cheal, 2011). In a culture where material wealth is not so much a matter of direct survival but of status, the wealth one invests in the gifts they give is turned to an expression of the intimacy and connection one feels with the gift recipient (Cheal, 2011). Emotional attachments related to gift giving and the psychological perception about the worth of relationships is thus impacted by/has an impact on the behavior of gift giving, with direct cultural and psychological interactions (Cheal, 2011).

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Japan's celebration of Valentine's Day, a holiday taken directly from the United States following the end of World War II, provides a highly interesting take on gift giving. This highly ritualized culture, with a great respect for formality and adherence to tradition, has developed a five-part ritual of gift giving that includes consumer elements and the confession of romantic feelings in the (hoped for) establishment of an emotional bond between the two participants in the ritual (Minowa et al., 2010). The gifts themselves can vary somewhat but always include the giving of chocolate specifically, which is part of the consumerist tradition the Japanese directly adopted from the United States and now adheres to quite faithfully, and the similarity and rituality of the gifts diminish the status that might be associated with these gifts (Minowa et al., 2010). The gift itself, that is, is far less important than the ritual of the giving, and it is Japanese culture that changes this mental emphasis.

Essay on Culture Psych Culture and Human Assignment

Culture can and does influence psychology in a wide variety of ways, from artistic expression to gift giving to the conducting of business and beyond. Understanding psychology and psychological issues, then, requires an understanding of the cultural context in which these elements are being examined, and just so an understanding of culture necessarily depends upon (or automatically creates) a certain understanding of the psychologies that might develop in a given culture. Placing behaviors and observed problems in their proper cultural context provides a key to more effective psychological understanding and practice.


Aktipis, C., Cronk, L. & Aguiar, R. (2011). Risk-Pooling and Herd Survival: An Agent-Based Model of a Maasai Gift-Giving System. Human Ecology 39(2): 131-40.

Cheal, D. (2011). "Showing them you love them": gift giving and the dialectic of intimacy. The Sociological Review 35(1): 150-69.

Minowa, Y., Khomenko, O. & Belk, R. (2010). Social Change and Gendered Gift-Giving Rituals: A… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Culture Psych Culture and Human" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Culture Psych Culture and Human.  (2012, December 7).  Retrieved September 23, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Culture Psych Culture and Human."  7 December 2012.  Web.  23 September 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Culture Psych Culture and Human."  December 7, 2012.  Accessed September 23, 2020.