Unit 1 (Research Methods/Biological Basis of Behavior)

For this unit we want to explore the biological roots of culture and behavior and how they interact with nurture. Most interesting to this unit is the family unit including (but not limited to): parenting goals and beliefs, parenting styles, parenting behaviors, siblings, extended families, peer exposure, and religion

Directions: Choose someone from a different culture other than your own. Remember you will have 4 of these this semester and will only be able to choose each cultural group (i.e. gender, ethnicity) once. Sit down with them and using the below questions, see if you cannot get into the heart of how culture influences who she/he is today. You may, of course, ask additional or follow up questions but you have to cover, at minimum, the questions listed. This assignment will work best with someone from the class – as you could interview each other and have a true conversation – but that is not required.

You will write up your “findings” in a well-written journal entry on Blackboard. It is due by 930am on the morning of Exam 1 (Feb.9).

  • It is expected that you will be complete and will proofread your work.
  • You do NOT have to transcribe the conversation, but instead summarize the key findings in your own words (you may use quotes if you choose).
  • Nowhere in your write-up should you include the person’s name – create an alias and refer to them by that alias throughout the assignment (using the first letter of their first name works great).

Things to Get You Thinking about Culture -- Yours and Others!

World View

  • How does (your culture) shape the way you see the world, others, and ourselves?
  • What do you think is unique about growing up in your culture – what do you think would be different if you were from another culture?
  • Mainstream Culture?
  • Subculture?
  • Counterculture?
  • What other cultures do you identify with? How do you think we could study one element of your culture without studying the others?

Nature vs. Nurture

  • How much of who you are do you think is because of nature (biology) and how much do you think is nurture (learned)?
  • How much do you think any of the above factors of socialization has influenced the way you are today?