Minangkabau Folk Psychology

  • Karl G. Heider
Part of the Culture, Mind, and Society book series (CMAS)


Folk psychology includes the ideas that people hold about personality, mental attributes and processes, intelligence, and emotions. In recent years much attention has been paid to these ideas in an attempt to avoid imposing outside—and usually Western— psychological concepts on the description and analysis of other cultures. While such approaches have used various labels, I prefer the term folk psychology here. It dates back to Wilhelm Wundt’s “Voelkerpsychologie” (see Thomas 2001:1–29). I should note the use of several others such as “ethnopsychology” (White 1992), “indigenous and cultural psychology” (Kim, Yang, and Hwang 2006) and historians’ concept of “emotionology” (Stearns and Stearns 1986:14ff). In several of the contributions to the White and Kirkpatrick volume (1985) “ethnopsychology” and “folk psychology” are used interchangeably.


Focus Group Cultural Context Emotional Intelligence Water Buffalo Folk Psychology 
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© Karl G. Heider 2011

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  • Karl G. Heider

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