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A Cultural Psychological Approach to Acculturation.

In the current research program, I further develop and empirically test a cultural psychological approach to acculturation that centers on the notion of ‘cultural fit’ – i.e., the extent to which an individual’s pattern of psychological functioning is similar to the typical pattern of others in the socio-cultural context. I start from the cultural psychological insights that people are encouraged and rewarded to fit their socio-cultural context. I then bring these insights into acculturation psychology to argue that when people migrate to another socio-cultural context not only their explicitly endorsed cultural attitudes and identities may change – as has been the focus of traditional acculturation research – but that their new cultural engagements may also affect the ways in which they feel, think and act, such that immigrant minorities may come to fit their new/other socio-cultural context. Over the next 10 years, I plan to focus on four research lines to empirically test this novel theory, thereby drawing on both my expertise and previously gathered preliminary evidence in the domain of emotion. Whereas Research Line 1 aims to document the acculturation of a wider range of psychological processes and Research Line 2 aims to map the complex interplay between the acculturation of explicit (e.g., identity) and implicit (e.g., emotion) domains across time and across different social contexts, Research Line 3 focuses on the micro-processes of socialization that occur in intercultural interactions, and that may account for psychological acculturation and cultural fit. A final research line cuts across all other three to address the question how acculturation – in its complex, multi-faceted and context-dependent form – is associated with minorities’ well-being and educational outcome.

Date:1 Oct 2019 →  Today
Keywords:Acculturation, Well-being, Migration, Culture, Cultural differences, Cultural Fit, Self-construal, Motivation, Cognition
Disciplines:Cultural and cross-cultural psychology, Applied psychology not elsewhere classified