Emerging Issue in Cross-Cultural Psychology

What are emerging issues?

In the field of multicultural psychology, psychologists are concerned with studying how people and human behavior vary. Emerging issues in multicultural settings are those aspects of humans that are found to differ among individuals and cause many concerns. It would be expected that persons characterized by diverse cultural backgrounds could have different ways of living, which could be mainly determined their cultural predispositions (Gelfand, Erez & Aycan, 2007; Lamb, Sternberg, Hwang & Broberg, 2014). In fact, the differences among different people pose different challenges to scholars and the public as they attempt to understand the reasons for the variations. Cross-cultural emerging issues determine how people co-exist in society with regard to interpersonal interactions and approaches to problem solving. Therefore, a thorough understanding of emerging issues helps psychologists to design strategies that could be adopted by individuals to live peacefully (Yuki, 2003).

Mechanisms of emerging issues

Race and culture predispose persons to different ways of behaving and living in the society. People from various races are characterized by the unique ways of living. However, even people from the same race could have different behaviors. For example, persons could have many expressions of exhibiting diverse emotions on their faces, which could be fear, anger and happiness, among others. The mechanisms of inheriting the expressions have been found to be innate in cultural settings. However, the rules that govern the expression of feelings could lead to changes in different social situations, which require individuals to exhibit unique learned behaviors. Thus, it can be asserted that the mechanisms of emerging issues are determined by cultural aspects that influence members of a certain cultural background to exhibit unique psychological attributes. In fact, psychologists largely focus on the mechanisms of emerging issues when they are studying the cultural aspects (Gelfand et al., 2007).

Major changes of emerging issues

In the contemporary world, there are many changes with regard to cross-cultural issues across the globe. The changes have been caused by many factors, which make individuals behave in certain ways. There has been a rapid increase in migration patterns that ensure that people from different cultures meet and live together (Lamb et al., 2014). In so doing, they exchange their ways of living and create some “sub-cultures”. In addition, people are increasing interacting through various social media platforms that allow persons to exchange values, beliefs and other attributes of a culture. It is in such contexts that psychologists identify many cases of cross-cultural changes that could be analyzed to understand some aspects of communities.

Inconsistence of emerging issues

Changes with regard to race and culture in cross-cultural settings do not happen in a consistent manner. For example, skills, attitudes and values that bring about emerging issues in communities occur at random. In fact, it could be difficult of cross-cultural psychologists to project the issues and the rate at which they would happen. However, a thorough understanding of the issues is critical to improving the services offered to individuals with diverse cultural backgrounds (Yuki, 2003).

Impact of emerging issues on society

Emerging issues that are based on culture could greatly impact cultural communication and interactions among people from diverse cultural orientations. For example, people of Japanese origin are less likely to recognize fear and anger compared to Americans. However, individuals from both the US and Japan can notice feelings such as happiness and surprise in equal ways (Yuki, 2003). If persons in cross-cultural settings do not recognize their differences with regard to communication, this could result in high levels of misunderstandings and conflicts in society.


Gelfand, M. J., Erez, M., & Aycan, Z. (2007). Cross-cultural organizational behavior. Annu. Rev. Psychol., 58, 479-514.

Lamb, M. E., Sternberg, K. J., Hwang, C. P., & Broberg, A. G. (Eds.). (2014). Child care in context: Cross-cultural perspectives. New York, NY: Psychology Press.

Yuki, M. (2003). Intergroup comparison versus intragroup relationships: A cross-cultural examination of social identity theory in North American and East Asian cultural contexts. Social Psychology Quarterly, 6(3), 166-183.

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