The Cultural Psychology of Development: One Mind, Many Mentalities

Theoretical Models of Human Development

  1. Richard A. Shweder1,
  2. Jacqueline J. Goodnow2,
  3. Giyoo Hatano3,
  4. Robert A. LeVine4,
  5. Hazel R. Markus5,
  6. Peggy J. Miller6

Published Online: 1 JUN 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470147658.chpsy0113

Handbook of Child Psychology

Handbook of Child Psychology

How to Cite

Shweder, R. A., Goodnow, J. J., Hatano, G., LeVine, R. A., Markus, H. R. and Miller, P. J. 2007. The Cultural Psychology of Development: One Mind, Many Mentalities. Handbook of Child Psychology. I:13.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Committee on Human Development, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA

  2. 2

    School of Behavioural Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

  3. 3

    Human Development & Education Program, University of the Air, Chiba City, Japan

  4. 4

    Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

  5. 5

    Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA

  6. 6

    Department of Speech Communication, University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JUN 2007


The discipline called “cultural psychology” has been experiencing a major revival since the early 1980s. The aim of cultural psychology is to document historical and cross-cultural diversity in the processes and products of the human mind, based on the premise that “to be a member of a group is to think and act in a certain way, in the light of particular goals, values, pictures of the world; and to think and act so is to belong to a group.” The chapter selectively discusses the cultural psychology of individual development, with special attention to the way in which culture and psyche “make each other up” in the psychological domains of self-organization, thinking, knowing, feeling, wanting, and valuing. It is organized into five sections: an introduction that lays out major conceptual issues followed by four topical areas-the cultural organization of early experience, language and socialization, self development, and cognitive development, although issues concerning moral development and the value-laden nature of mental functioning are also addressed. The main wager of cultural psychology is that relatively few components of the human mental equipment are so inherently constrained, hard wired, or fundamental that their developmental pathway is fixed in advance and cannot be transformed or altered through cultural participation.


  • cultural psychology;
  • culture;
  • custom complex, diversity;
  • psychological pluralism;
  • socialization