Research in cultural psychology suggests that mind and behavior are necessarily cultural. The implications of this perspective call into question assumptions of scientific psychology's cultural neutrality and indicate that it may be a form of cultural community in its own right. As such, it seems that it will necessarily be defined by certain cultural biases that are exclusive of other cultural biases. Nevertheless, providing that scientists can strive to identify their explicit and implicit cultural biases, and so long as they can define their sciences in terms of cultural biases that are rational and mandatory within the internal logic of psychology, psychology's specific cultural biases may enable them to advance knowledge in ways that other cultural approaches, such as religion or ethics, cannot. This paper suggests criteria for identifying whether any given cultural biases within psychology might be justified or unjustified and reviews exemplars of justified and unjustified implicit and explicit cultural biases. It also discusses how, in cases of unjustified cultural bias, alternative cultural perspectives can be instrumental in scientific advancement. Ultimately, the paper suggests that psychologists can be culturally inclusive without compromising the truly critical cultural biases that make psychological science worthwhile. Moreover, it suggests ways in which cultural inclusion may be beneficial for individual psychologists, the discipline of scientific psychology as a whole, and in how psychological science engages with other cultural communities.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Hyde, Jordan D., "Examining Justifiable and Unjustifiable Cultural Biases in Psychological Science" (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 6575.
culture, cultural psychology, bias, psychological science, value-free science