Seminar: The Psychology of Cultural Dynamics

  • Date: Jun 27, 2023
  • Time: 03:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Yoshihisa Kashima, University of Melbourne
  • Location: Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin
  • Room: Small Conference Room
  • Host: Center for Humans and Machines
Seminar: The Psychology of Cultural Dynamics

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Yoshihisa Kashima, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne

The Psychology of Cultural Dynamics

Globalized humanity is changing and needs to change. Consider climate change and extreme weather events, geopolitical tensions and conflict, and rising inequalities within and between nations. To meet these contemporary adaptational challenges, human cognition and action are changing – both individually as a person and collectively as a species. These changes occur at times blindly, but all the while accompanied by human strivings to gain foresight and perspectives beyond the current horizon. Given the importance of culture as a mechanism for human adaptation, anthropology’s answer has been cultural evolution – an attempt to understand and explain cumulative cultural changes over the millennia. Whereas this has provided us with the knowledge and insights into long-term macro-level cultural dynamics, micro-level psychological knowledge complements our understanding of how and why macro-level cultural changes occur. Moreover, psychological insights are imperative in contemplating how to cultivate and craft human cultures – behaviour change, if you will – to navigate the uncharted waters into our collective futures. The psychology of cultural dynamics has accumulated knowledge and insights into micro-level cognitive and communicative processes that constitute and are constituted by macro-level cultural processes. In this presentation, I will outline a framework for considering the micro-macro dynamics of cultural maintenance and change mediated by dynamically changing social networks at the meso-level, and describe emerging research on the contemporary work on the psychology of cultural dynamics, including political polarization and utopian thinking.

Yoshihisa Kashima is Professor of Psychology at the University of Melbourne, and a WASP-HS Guest Professor at Umeå University. His research focuses on the psychology of cultural dynamics – how psychological processes contribute to the formation, maintenance, and transformation of culture, and how culture shapes human psychology in turn, with particular emphasis on cultures of sustainability. His work has appeared in Science, Nature Climate Change, Psychological Review, Psychological Bulletin, American Psychologist, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. He was Associate Editor of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and the President of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology. He is currently working on cultural dynamics in complex social-ecological systems.

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Meeting number: 2741 165 2024
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