This essay focuses on cultural differences in psychological processes. There is much evidence that a sensitive period exists for learning language
P eople are not born with their cultures; they are born culture-free (or are at least conceive culture-free; in utero cultural experiences may possibly affect development); however, people begin attending to cultural information and being social ized by that information from very early in their lives. Becoming a cultural being is a developmental process, and as we age we are shaped more and more by the cultural practices and institutions in which we participate. This process is evident in that cultural differences in psychological processes tend to become more pronounced with age. KEY TERM S 201 Various cultural practices differ across cultures, and these differences emerge at young ages. Infants have different kinds of personal space, including when they sleep. Across cultures, parents rely on different parenting styles to social ize their children.
Children learn to attend differently to nouns and verbs across cultures. It is which is likely due to the ways that parents call their attention to features of objects or the relations among objects.
Cultures also differ in some key developmental transitions. The “terrible twos” is an infamous transition period that Western toddlers are likely to go through; however, the twos seem to be considerably less terrible in cultures where children are not encourage to be as independent. Likewise, although adolescence is often view as a time of rebellion and aggression in the West, most subsistence societies around the world do not experience it this way. Much of human social ization occurs through the schools, and the process of being educate shapes our thinking in quite profound ways. Moreover, cultures differ in the ways that they educate their chi ldren, and these differences affect the ways that children perform in their classes.