Dialectical Relationships Among Human Autonomy, the Brain, and Culture

  • Valery I. Chirkov
Part of the Cross-Cultural Advancements in Positive Psychology book series (CAPP, volume 1)


In this chapter the author examines relationships among human psychological autonomy, the brain, and culture. Human autonomy is an evolved capacity of Homo sapiens that has dialectical relations with people’s socio-cultural environments and is a universal and necessary condition for people’ optimal functioning. Human autonomy is neither a social construction nor an illusion. It is a real psychological power behind people’s lives and actions but it requires a socio-symbolic context to emerge. Autonomous people can overcome their dependency on cultural norms and prescriptions by reflecting on social and cultural influences and acting either with or against them. Human autonomy is a universal condition for people to grow, flourish, and be happy.


Autonomous Agency Symbolic Representation Autonomy Support Autonomous Motivation Autonomous Person 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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