24 Culture and Social Psychology

Personality and Social Psychology


  1. Joan G. Miller PhD1,
  2. J. Patrick Boyle PhD2

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop205024

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Miller, J. G. and Boyle, J. P. 2012. Culture and Social Psychology. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 5:II:24.

Author Information

  1. 1

    New School for Social Research, Department of Psychology, New York, New York, USA

  2. 2

    New School for Social Research, Department of Psychology, New York, New York, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


The chapter presents a theoretical and empirical overview of social psychological research in cultural psychology. Consideration is given to the processes that have contributed to minimizing the significance of culture both in mainstream social psychology and in early traditions of cross-cultural research. Work in cultural psychology challenges the prevailing neglect of culture in psychology and to offer new understandings of the essential role of culture in the emergence of all higher-order psychological processes. Next, an overview is presented of contemporary social psychology research in cultural psychology in the areas of self-processes, attribution, cognition, motivation, emotion, attachment, and relationships. This research provides insight into ways that cultural meanings and practices influence the form of basic psychological processes, such as in biasing perception of objects and in qualitatively affecting emotional experiences and moral outlooks. In conclusion, consideration is given to the challenges facing work on culture and social psychology, such as the need to go beyond highly stereotypical conceptions of cultural variation, as well to new directions in which this work is developing, such as the recent expansion into cultural neuroscience.


  • cultural psychology;
  • cognition;
  • self;
  • motivation;
  • emotion