Culture plays big role in determining the association of individuals towards characteristics. A group or population behaving the same specific manner to different criteria defines the cultural characteristics of such population.
The study of culture has been done by sociologists in order to differentiate the behavior of nationals from country to country. Different cultural models has been developed as the outcome of culture study. In this arena, we can always remember the names;
- Geert Hofstede on his cultural dimensions designating each country to have specific behavior based on the study he developed.
- Trompenaars 7D Cultural Model giving more differentiation and a wider behavioral approach to Hofstede’s cultural model.
Aside from cultural aspects, ethics does play a big role to culture. Bribing for example is a big no-no to other countries but to some countries it is accepted and is called ‘token’ or ‘gift’.
From culture and ethics influence of society, an individual does behave is also depending on his upbringing and his experiences.
All of us have our own bias in our personality. Out of this bias behavior comes our preferences in our choices. We have to acknowledge our personal bias and managed it as well in order to avoid being ‘stereotype’.
When we see colors, how do we associate them? Is white associated with good? Is black associated with bad?
In terms of gender, do we perceive men are career oriented? Do we perceive women to be family oriented?
At work when we asked a woman colleague for help and we got turn down, do we perceive that woman colleague to be unkind and not considerate? Do we perceive women to be more helpful at work compared to men? When a man colleague turn down our request for help, do we just accept it because he’s a man?
It’s due to these preferences and bias that studies conducted through surveys portray different results.
University of Chicago conducted the study and found based on responses that men and women react differently to jobs with wages based on competition with coworkers which can explain as to some extent the aspects of wage inequality between men and women.
Interestingly enough, I wonder if this study conducted by University of Chicago will give the same result if they expand the variables of study to not only gender but also include the race?
In such behavioral responses, it still attune to our personal bias.
Most often than not, we always wanted to be neutral and project to the world that we are not bias and we do not have preference. We wanted to be –> good. And politically correct.
Contemplate. Photo taken at Al Mugsail, Salalah Oman. December 2010.
Are you towards football? A close glimpse and shot of Lukas Podolski (German football player) in Cologne Germany, July 2009
However, our preference and prejudice are what defines us. Culture, ethics, politics and other aspects of society influence our behavior to some extent but we have our own individual preference which make us unique.
What’s the implicit you? When you tell someone you are not bias towards gender or race or color of skin, is it really true?
In order to know what’s the implicit you, I recommend for you to try the Implicit Association Test (IAT) developed by Harvard. The demonstration test would require approximately 15 minutes. There are various topics that you can take in order for you to identify your association to different subjects. Most of us defines explicitly that we associate women with family but surprisingly our implicit preference tells us that women are towards career. Now there’s the conflict between our implicit and explicit preferences. We have to know ourselves.
As such, after taking the IAT demo test, what’s really the implicit you?
Til next time. Au revoir.
- Geert Hofstede Cultural studies
- Trompenar’s 7D Model
- The University of Chicago News
- Implicit Association Test (IAT)