Is there a relationship between culture and the development of social and cognitive functions? The program "Cultural differences in social cognition' aims to investigate the interaction between cultural orientation and social cognition. We focus on the cultural orientations individualism and collectivism and the relationship with different social cognitive functions, such as perspective taking, social decision-making, and experience of time. This research line is supported by a VICI grant from the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).
An example of a research hypothesis is whether individuals with a collectivist orientation are more likely to consider the perspective of another person than those with an individualistic orientation. We do not conceive of culture as static characteristic, but rather as a specific mindset evoked by motives or the current situation. In other words, anyone can have an individualistic orientation, but in people growing up in an individualistic culture, this mindset will be dominant and often triggered by the situation. We investigate this by creating experimental conditions in which the different orientations are activated, followed by different social cognitive tasks.
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