Re: Ethnopsychology

Shawn Roske (
Thu, 14 Sep 1995 00:26:05 GMT

Torfi Sigurdsson ( wrote:
> I am currently participating in a seminar on Folk Psychology,
> and am curious to know about the "Ethnopsychology" im-
> plicit in cultures outside the western world.

Is this common terminology? I've wondered about this subject
myself, but I've never come across this word used like this, or any
other way for that matter.

> My question is this: how do people from non-western
> cultures go about explaining people€s behavior? Are our
> concepts of willing, desiring and believing common per-
> haps to all cultures? Are there any grounds for believing
> that there is a basic, universal ethnopsychology?

I had intended to write a paper once on asian psychological
traditions, as it turned out I never went through with it, but I
consulted a professor of buddhism on the issue. I was told that, at
least in her areas of concern, there were no clear simularities that
could be applied to "eastern" and "western" psychological approaches.

I came away with the understanding that each was a totally different
perspective on the phenomenon, so I would answer your question with a
no, that there is no "universal ethnopsychology"; however, these terms
are kinda throwing me...

> I would be grateful if you could, however imperfectly
> answer my questions, since I am unfamiliar with Anthropo-
> logy.

How's that for imperfection, eh?
Didn't really say much, did I?

Actually, can anyone else add to these thoughts?

> Torfi Sigurdsson

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