Welcome to the Social Self and Culture Lab!
People are cultural beings, and to understand people’s behavior, we must understand their cultural contexts, beliefs, and values. As a cultural psychologist, Susan Cross seeks to understand the indigenous viewpoints, beliefs, attitudes, and norms that shape how members of a cultural group understand themselves, their relationships, and their place in society. Her work focuses on the following questions:
- How do close relationships differ in distinctly different cultural groups, such as Americans and Chinese? What explains these differences?
- In some parts of the world, individuals are largely defined by their reputation, and they are highly motivated to maintain and enhance a positive reputation (or honor). How does this overarching goal to be viewed as an honorable person shape their interactions with and evaluations of others, their progress toward other goals, and their responses to conflict or threat?
- Are there differences in how cultural contexts shape individuals’ self-views, and how do these differences influence how people think, feel, and interact with others?
Studying culture’s influence on human behavior is fun, intellectually challenging, and theoretically rich. Most importantly, it is essential for a just and equitable science of human behavior.
Our research includes both experimental and survey research, with participants from within the US and from other countries. Our lab group meets every two weeks to discuss our current research projects, to learn more about the research process and cultural psychology around the world, and to address important student questions, such as how to apply to graduate school. Come join the fun!