Cross-cultural psychology is an important area of psychology that examines how culture influences behavior, thoughts, and emotions. It is an interdisciplinary field that draws from the disciplines of anthropology, sociology, and psychology. This article will discuss the history and development of cross-cultural psychology, its theoretical foundations, and its current research areas.

History and Development

The roots of cross-cultural psychology go back to the 19th century, when anthropologists began to systematically study the behavior of members of different cultures. Anthropologists such as Franz Boas and Margaret Mead developed theories that focused on the influence of culture on behavior and beliefs. In the early 20th century, psychologists such as Edward Sapir and Leonard Bloomfield also laid the foundations for the field of cross-cultural psychology.

In the mid-20th century, cross-cultural psychology was further developed by psychologists such as Geert Hofstede and Harry C. Triandis. They developed theories that compared the behavior and beliefs of people from different cultures and attempted to explain differences in behavior. In the late 20th century, cross-cultural psychology was further developed by researchers such as David Matsumoto and John Berry, who developed research techniques and theories to compare the behavior of people from different cultures.

Theoretical Foundations

Cross-cultural psychology is based on several key theoretical foundations. The most important of these is the concept of culture. Culture is defined as the shared values, beliefs, and norms of a group of people. It is a complex concept that encompasses a wide range of factors, including language, religion, political beliefs, and social customs.

Another key theoretical foundation of cross-cultural psychology is the concept of cultural relativism. This concept states that behavior and beliefs should be interpreted in the context of the culture in which they are found. In other words, behavior and beliefs should not be judged based on the standards of one’s own culture.

Current Research Areas

Cross-cultural psychology is a rapidly growing field of research. Current research areas include the study of cultural differences in behavior, emotions, and attitudes. Researchers are also studying the influence of culture on cognition, memory, and language acquisition. Additionally, researchers are exploring the role of culture in the development of psychological disorders and in the treatment of mental health disorders.


Cross-cultural psychology is an important field of psychology that examines the influence of culture on behavior, emotions, and cognition. It is based on several key theoretical foundations, including the concept of culture and cultural relativism. Research in this field is rapidly expanding and is being used to better understand the role of culture in behavior, emotions, and cognition.


Boas, F. (1888). The study of geography. Science, 2, 577-579.

Matsumoto, D., & Juang, L. (2013). Culture and psychology (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Mead, M. (1928). Coming of age in Samoa. New York City: Morrow.

Sapir, E. (1949). The status of linguistics as a science. Language, 25(1), 207-214.

Triandis, H.C. (1995). Individualism and collectivism. Boulder, CO: Westview.

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