Communicating efficiently involves having an assumed set of knowledge underpinned by a learned system of cultural values, or what can be called cultural schemata. The American cultural self, for instance, is underpinned with the schemata of existentialism, individualism and competition. Schemata creates hidden biases in the way we behave, make decisions and judgements. Most often, it greatly aids in the communication and interpretation processes by allowing us to simplify and predict others' behavior. However, in cross-cultural context, schema based interpretations can be problematic and may have long term repercussions. The aim of this presentation is to present and discuss the author's research of how cultural schemata are formed and cause hidden biases that are in turn used to interpret behavior in different ways leading to both recognized and unrecognized cross-cultural friction.
Stephen B. Ryan, Yamagata University, Japan
Stream: Cultural Studies
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