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Early Cross-Cultural Commonalities in Social Explanation

Early Cross-Cultural Commonalities in Social Explanation Cognitive processing and semantic influences on the developmental patterning of everyday social explanation are examined in a cross-cultural investigation undertaken among American and Hindu adults and children (ages 8, 11, and 15). Results demonstrate the existence of both common as well as culture-specific age trends. In both cultures, young children tend to emphasize instance-oriented social concepts and to structure their explanations in schematic terms. Evidence suggests that such attributional tendencies reflect common cognitive processing orientations arising spotaneously early in development, rather than merely the effects of social transmission. It is also documented that a significant developmental increase in attributional references to the social context occurs among Hindus but not among Americans. Such divergent developmental patterns are interpreted as arising, at least in part, from Americans' and Hindus' acquisition of contrasting cultural meaning systems. Discussion centers on theoretical implications of the results for integrating cognitive processing and cultural perspectives on attribution. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Developmental Psychology American Psychological Association

Early Cross-Cultural Commonalities in Social Explanation

Developmental Psychology , Volume 22 (4): 7 – Jul 1, 1986

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References (26)

Publisher
American Psychological Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1986 American Psychological Association
ISSN
0012-1649
eISSN
1939-0599
DOI
10.1037/0012-1649.22.4.514
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Cognitive processing and semantic influences on the developmental patterning of everyday social explanation are examined in a cross-cultural investigation undertaken among American and Hindu adults and children (ages 8, 11, and 15). Results demonstrate the existence of both common as well as culture-specific age trends. In both cultures, young children tend to emphasize instance-oriented social concepts and to structure their explanations in schematic terms. Evidence suggests that such attributional tendencies reflect common cognitive processing orientations arising spotaneously early in development, rather than merely the effects of social transmission. It is also documented that a significant developmental increase in attributional references to the social context occurs among Hindus but not among Americans. Such divergent developmental patterns are interpreted as arising, at least in part, from Americans' and Hindus' acquisition of contrasting cultural meaning systems. Discussion centers on theoretical implications of the results for integrating cognitive processing and cultural perspectives on attribution.

Journal

Developmental PsychologyAmerican Psychological Association

Published: Jul 1, 1986

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