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Folk Psychologies Across Cultures
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Folk Psychologies Across Cultures

  • R. M Thomas - University of California, Santa Barbara (Emeritus)


352 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Without taking a single psychology course, ordinary people learn to understand, predict, and explain one anther's actions, thoughts, and motivations. Many cognitive scientists and philosophers claim that our everyday or folk understanding of mental states constitutes a theory of mind. That theory is widely called folk psychology (sometimes-commonsense psychology). The terms in which folk psychology are couched are familiar ones of "belief" and "desire," "hunger," "pain," and so forth. According to many theorists, folk psychology plays a central role in our capacity to predict and explain the behavior of ourselves and of others. This book has two goals: (a) to provide a framework for analyzing folk psychologies, and (b) to describe multiple forms that folk psychologies assume in different cultures.

Features/Benefits:

· Cross-cultural perspectives illustrate typical variations of folk thinking in the world's cultures and help readers understand the varied ways that people they encounter will likely view life.

· Each chapter opens with and is structured around a central question the chapter is designed to answer, inviting the reader to participate in exploring the issue at hand. A concluding chapter, "Trends in Folk Psychologies," addresses the value of studying folk psychologies and what can be

 
Preface
 
1. Diverse Cultures, Diverse Psycholgies
Contrasting Conceptions of Folk Psychology

 
Cultural Diversity

 
The Book's Twofold Purpose

 
Delineating the Domain of Folk Psychologies

 
Sources of Evidence

 
The Evolution of Folk Psychologies

 
The Book's Structure

 
 
2. Reality
Dimensions of Reality

 
Reality and Cultural Change

 
 
3. Knowing
Knowledge Processes and Sources

 
Cultural Change and the State of Knowledge

 
 
4. Cause
Aspects of Causality

 
Cultural Change and Beliefs About Cause

 
 
5. Competence
Kinds of Competence

 
Conceptions of Impairment

 
Cultural Change and Competence

 
 
6. Values
Types of Values in Folk Psycholgies

 
Values and Cultural Change

 
 
7. Emotions
The Universality of Emotions

 
Learning Emotional Responses

 
Event and Emotion Connections

 
Emotions and Cultural Change

 
 
8. Humor
Examples of Folk Humor

 
Humor and Cultural Change

 
 
9. Self and Not-Self
Psychological Identification

 
Stereotypical Roles Versus Individualism

 
The Presentation of Self

 
Self and Cultural Change

 
 
10. Rites and Rituals
Functions of Rites and Rituals

 
Rituals and Cultural Change

 
 
11. Time and the Life Span
Versions of Historical Time

 
The Human Life Span

 
Cultural Change and Concepts of Time

 
 
12. Gender and Sex
Gender Variations Across Folk Psychologies

 
Gender and Cultural Change

 
Sexual Orientation

 
Sexual Behavior

 
Cultural Change and Sexual Orientation

 
 
13. Prohibitions
Forms and Soruces and Prohibitions

 
Functions of Prohibitions

 
Prohibitions and Cultural Change

 
 
14. Folk Psychologies' Significance and Trends
The Study of Folk Psychologies

 
Hindsight

 
Foresight

 
 
References
 
Name Index
 
Subject Index
 
About the Author

". . .mandatory reading for students hoping to be service providers and for professionals with a multicultural clientele." 

L.M.C. Abbott Trapp
formerly California School of Professional Psychology

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Robert Murray Thomas

 R. Murray Thomas (Ph.D., Stanford University) is an emeritus professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where for three decades he taught educational psychology and directed the program in international education. He began his 50-year career in education as a high school teacher at Kamehameha Schools and Mid-Pacific Institute in Honolulu, then continued at the college level at San Francisco State University, the State University of New York (Brockport), and Pajajaran University in Indonesia before moving to Santa Barbara. His professional publications exceed 340, including 46 books for which he served as author,... More About Author

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