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ERIC Number: EJ909228
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2725
Using Culture to Explain Behavior: An Integrative Cultural Approach
Shepherd, Hana R.; Stephens, Nicole M.
Social Psychology Quarterly, v73 n4 p353-354 Dec 2010
While savings rates among low-income families vary greatly, a 2008 National Poverty Center report finds that over 40 percent of low-income families fail to save any money. For decades policy makers and social scientists have sought to explain this phenomenon. Even after accounting for the fact that low-income families have less money to save, why do they often have lower rates of savings than their middle- and high-income counterparts? Most social science research on this question either examines the individual characteristics (e.g., cognitive factors) that influence how low-income people make decisions about their savings, or focuses on the material features of one's environment that shape behavior, such as whether people have access to the types of organizational resources (e.g., formal financial services) that promote savings. In this article, the authors argue that explaining social phenomena like low savings rates requires attention to the role of culture. An integrative cultural approach that considers the ongoing interdependence between the behavior and psychological processes of individuals and their sociocultural contexts is essential for social scientists who seek to explain behavior like low savings rates and for policy makers who seek to design interventions to change behavior. The authors present examples that represent the types of factors that such an integrative cultural approach would consider. (Contains 2 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A