Advertisement

Optimal Experience Across Cultures

  • Antonella Delle Fave
  • Fausto Massimini
  • Marta Bassi
Chapter
Part of the Cross-Cultural Advancements in Positive Psychology book series (CAPP, volume 2)

Abstract

In this chapter we will contextualize the investigation of optimal experience across culture within the theoretical framework of cultural studies. In the last few decades, psychological studies evolved from an ethnocentric western perspective to a broader view that takes into account the role of culture in shaping human behavior and experience. This allowed for the development of different approaches, such as cross-cultural psychology, cultural psychology, and indigenous psychologies, and for the conceptualization of basic constructs, such as individualism/collectivism and independent/interdependent self-construal, which presently represent the cornerstones of most psychological studies endorsing cultural aspects. The exploration of optimal experience and psychological selection across cultures will be exemplified through findings derived from adult and adolescent participants. Similarities and differences between cultures will be highlighted, and interpreted in the light of the theoretical assumptions on culture—on the one hand—and on flow and psychological selection—on the other hand.

Keywords

Optimal Activity Optimal Experience Individualistic Culture Future Goal Present Challenge 
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.

References

  1. Ackerman, P. L. (1996). A theory of adult intellectual development: Process, personality, interests, and knowledge. Intelligence, 22, 227–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Asakawa, K., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Feelings of connectedness and internalization of values in Asian American adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 29, 121–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bassi, M., & Delle Fave, A. (2004). Adolescence and the changing context of optimal experience in time: Italy 1986–2000. Journal of Happiness Studies, 5, 155–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Berry, J. W. (1969). On cross-cultural comparability. International Journal of Psychology, 4, 119–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Block, N. (1995). How heritability misleads about race. Cognition, 56, 99–128.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bond, R. A., & Smith, P. B. (1996). Culture and conformity: A meta-analysis of studies using ash’s (1952) line judgement task. Psychological Bulletin, 119, 111–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brewer, M. B., & Gardner, L. W. (1996). Who is this “we”? Levels of collective identity and self-representation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 83–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cohen, D., & Kitayama, S. (2007). Cultural psychology. This stanza and the next. In S. Kitayama & D. Cohen (Eds.), Handbook of cultural psychology (pp. 847–851). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  9. Creswell, J. W. (2008). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  10. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1975/2000). Beyond boredom and anxiety. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Google Scholar
  11. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1997). Finding flow: The psychology of engagement with everyday life. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  12. Csikszentmihalyi, M., Rathunde, K., & Whalen, S. (1993). Talented teenagers: The roots of success and failure. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Delle Fave, A. (2007). Individual development and community empowerment: Suggestions from studies on optimal experience. In J. Haworth & G. Hart (Eds.), Well-being: Individual, community, and societal perspectives (pp. 41–56). London: Palgrave McMillan.Google Scholar
  14. Delle Fave, A., & Massimini, F. (1988). Modernization and changing contexts of flow in work and leisure. In M. Csikszentmihalyi & I. Csikszentmihalyi (eds.), Optimal experience. psychological studies of flow in consciousness (pp. 193–213). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Delle Fave, A., & Massimini, F. (1991). Modernization and the quality of daily experience in a southern Italy village. In N. Bleichrodt & P. J. D. Drenth (eds.), Contemporary issues in cross-cultural psychology (pp. 110–119). Amsterdam: Swets & Zeitlinger B.V.Google Scholar
  16. Delle Fave, A., & Massimini, F. (2004). The cross-cultural investigation of optimal experience. Ricerche di Psicologia, 27, 79–102.Google Scholar
  17. Delle Fave, A., & Massimini, F. (2005). The investigation of optimal experience and apathy: Developmental and psychosocial implications. European Psychologist, 10, 264–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. (2000). Handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  19. De Vos, G. (1985). Dimensions of the self in Japanese culture. In A. Marsella, G. De Vos, & F. L. K. Hsu (Eds.), Culture and self (pp. 149–184). London: Tavistock.Google Scholar
  20. Diaz-Guerrero, R. (1979). The development of coping style. Human Development, 22, 320–331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Diener, E., Oishi, S., & Lucas, R. (2004). Personality, culture, and subjective well-being: Emotional and cognitive evaluations of life. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 403–425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Eaton, L., & Louw, J. (2000). Culture and self in South Africa: Individualism-collectivism predictions. The Journal of Social Psychology, 140, 210–217.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Eliot, T. S. (1942). The four quartets. In A. Tonelli (Ed.), The waste land – four quartets. Parallel text edition. Milano: Feltrinelli 1995.Google Scholar
  24. Fiske, A. P., & Fiske, S. T. (2007). Social relationships in our species and cultures. In S. Kitayama & D. Cohen (Eds.), Handbook of cultural psychology (pp. 283–306). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  25. Fiske, A. P., Kitayama, S., Markus, H., & Nisbett, R. E. (1998). The cultural matrix of social psychology. In D. T. Gilbert, S. T. Fiske, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), The handbook of social psychology (4th ed., Vol. 2, pp. 915-981). Boston: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  26. Gabriel, S., & Gardner, L. W. (1999). Are there „his“ and „hers“ types of interdependence? The implications of gender differences in collective versus relational interdependence for affect, behaviour, and cognition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 642–655.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gardner, H. (1982). Developmental psychology. Boston: Little Brown.Google Scholar
  28. Han, A. G. (2008). Building a harmonious society and achieving individual harmony. Journal of Chinese Political Science, 13, 143–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Han, J. J., Leichtman, M. D., & Wang, Q. (1998). Autobiographical memory in Korean, Chinese, and American children. Developmental Psychology, 34, 701–713.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hardin, E. E., Leong, F. T. L., & Bhagwat, A. A. (2004). Factor structure of the self-construal scale revisited. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 35, 327–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hedden, T., Park, D. C., Nisbett, R. E., Ji, L., Jing, Q., & Jiao, S. (2002). Cultural variation in verbal versus spatial neuropsychological function across the lifespan. Neuropsychology, 16, 65–73.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hektner, J. M., Schmidt, J., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2007). Experience sampling method: Measuring the quality of everyday life. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  33. Herrnstein, R. J., & Murray, C. (1994). The bell curve. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  34. Herskovitz, M. J. (1948). Man and his works: The science of cultural anthropology. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar
  35. Hinde, R. (1979). Toward understanding relationships. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  36. Ho, S. S. M., & Chan, R. S. Y. (2009). Social harmony in Hong Kong: Level, determinants and policy implications. Social Indicators Research, 91, 37–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture’s consequences: International differences in work-related values. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  38. Hsu, F. L. K. (1985). The self in cross-cultural perspective. In A. Marsella, G. De Vos, & F. L. K. Hsu (Eds.), Culture and self (pp. 24–55). London: Tavistock.Google Scholar
  39. Hui, H., & Luk, C. L. (1997). Industrial/organizational psychology. In J. W. Berry, M. H. Segall & C. Kagitçibasi (eds.), Handbook of cross-cultural psychology (Vol. 3, pp. 371–412). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  40. Ji, L. -J., Nisbett, R. E., & Su, Y. (2001). Culture, change, and prediction. Psychological Science, 12, 450–456.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Ji, L. -J., Peng, K., & Nisbett, R. E. (2000). Culture, control, and perception of relationships in the environment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 943–955.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kagitçibasi, C. (1997). Individualism and collectivism. In Berry, J. W., Segall, M. H., & Kagitçibasi, C., Handbook of cross-cultural psychology, social behavior and applications (Vol.3, pp. 1–49). Needam Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  43. Kasser, T., & Ryan, R. M. (1996). Further examining the American dream: Differential correlates of intrinsic and extrinsic goals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 280–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kim, U., & Berry, J. W. (1993). Indigenous psychologies. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  45. Kim, J. S., Triandis, H. C., Kagitçibasi, C., Choi, S., & Yoon, G. (1994). Individualism and collectivism: Theory, method and applications. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  46. Kitayama, S., Snibbe, A. C., Markus, H. R., & Suzuki, T. (2004). Is there any “free”choice? Self and dissonance in two cultures. Psychological Science, 15, 527–533.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Kitayama, S., Takagi, H., & Matsumoto, D. (1995). Cultural psychology of Japanese self: Causal attributions of success and failure. Japanese Psychological Review, 38, 247–280.Google Scholar
  48. Kleiber, D., Larson, R. W., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1986). The experience of leisure in adolescence. Journal of Leisure Research, 18, 169–176.Google Scholar
  49. Kubey, R., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Television and the quality of life: How viewing shapes everyday experience. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  50. Latané, B., & Darley, J. M. (1970). The unresponsive bystander: Why doesn’t he help? New York: Appleton-Century-crofts.Google Scholar
  51. Laungani, P. (1992). Cultural variations in the understanding and treatment of neurotic disorders: India and England. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 5, 231–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Leung, K. A. Y., Fernandez-Dols, J. M., & Iwawaki, S. (1992). Preference for methods of conflicts processing in two collectivist cultures. International Journal of Psychology, 27, 195–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Markus, R., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation. Psychological Review, 98, 224–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Marsella, A. J., & Pedersen, P. B. (1981). Cross-cultural counseling and psychotherapy. New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  55. Masuda, T., & Nisbett, R. E. (2001). Attending holistically versus analytically: Comparing the context sensitivity of Japanese and Americans. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 922–934.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Morling, B., Kitayama, S., & Miyamoto, Y. (2002). Cultural practices emphasize influence in the United States and adjustment in Japan. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 311–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Myers, D. (2000). The funds, friends, and faith of happy people. American Psychologist, 55, 56–67.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Omark, D. R., Strayer, F. F., & Freedman, D. G. (1980). Dominance relations. New York: Garland STPM Press.Google Scholar
  59. Oskamp, S. (2000). A sustainable future for humanity? American Psychologist, 55, 496–508.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Park, N., Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2006). Character strengths in fifty-four nations and the fifty US states. Journal of Positive Psychology, 1, 118–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Romney, A. K., & D’Andrade, R. (Eds.) (1964). Transcultural studies in cognition. Special issue. American Anthropologist, 66, 3.Google Scholar
  62. Ryan, R., & Deci, E. (2001). On happiness and human potentials: A review of research on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 141–166.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Shweder, R. A., & Bourne, E. J. (1984). Does the concept of the person vary cross-culturally? In R. A. Shweder, & R. A. LeVine (Eds.), Culture theory: Essays on mind, self, and emotion (pp. 158–199). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  64. Singelis, T. M., Triandis, H. C., Bhawuk, D. S., & Gelfand, M. (1995). Horizontal and vertical dimensions of individualism and collectivism: A theoretical and measurement refinement. Cross-Cultural Research, 29, 240–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Smith, P. B. (2001). Cross-cultural studies on social influences. In D. Matsumoto (Ed.), The handbook of culture and psychology (pp. 361–374). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  66. Smith, P. B., & Bond, M. H. (1999). Social psychology across cultures. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  67. Somech, A. (2000). The independent and the interdependent selves: Different meanings in different cultures. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 24, 161–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Stigler, J. W., Shweder, R. A., & Herdt, G. (1990). Cultural psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Super, C. M., & Harkness, S. (1986). The developmental niche: A conceptualization at the interface of child and culture. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 9, 545–569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Triandis, H. C. (1994). Culture and social behaviour. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  71. Triandis, H. C., Chan, D. K. S., Bhawuk, D., Iwao, S., & Sinha, J. B. P. (1995). Multimethod probes of allocentrism and idiocentrism. International Journal of Psychology, 30, 461–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Uchida, Y., Norasakkunkit, V., & Kitayama, S. (2004). Cultural constructions of happiness: Theory and empirical evidence. Journal of Happiness Studies, 5, 223–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Weisz, J. R., Rothbaum, F. M., & Blackburn, T. C. (1984). Standing out and standing in: The psychology of control in America and Japan. American Psychologist, 39, 955–969.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Yamaguchi, S. (2001). Culture and control orientations. In D. Matsumoto (Ed.), The handbook of culture and psychology (pp. 223–242). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  75. Yang, K. (2000). Mono-cultural and cross-cultural indigenous approaches: The royal road to the development of a balanced global psychology. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 3, 241–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonella Delle Fave
    • 1
  • Fausto Massimini
    • 1
  • Marta Bassi
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche Luigi SaccosUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanoItaly

Personalised recommendations