Motivation and Culture

There are different ways to talk about culture, and each way is more or less useful within specific contexts. Culture can be thought of in the ?high culture? sense, which might include the artistic, literary, and musical achievements of a culture. It can be thought of in the anthropological sense, which relates to a set of beliefs, practices, and values to which a group of people adhere and that characterize them. It can also be thought of as an ever-evolving pattern of learned behavior, language, and beliefs shared amongst a group of people.

In the context of psychology, it may be most helpful to think of culture as an evolving landscape of learned behavior and socialization that are characteristic of an institution, organization, or group. Thinking about motivation, specifically, consider how, if the cultural norm is one of passivity, you might motivate leaders. If a culture values conformity, how might you motivate independence? If the cultural norm is one of maintaining the status quo, how might you motivate originality?

Post by Day 4 an explanation of two ways in which cultural norms may influence motivation. Then, explain which motivational theories are more universal and which are more culturally relative.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.


  • Book Excerpt: Bindra, D. (1985). Motivation, the brain, and psychological theory. In S. Koch, & D. E. Leary (Eds.), A century of psychology as science (pp. 338?363). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the PsycBOOKS database.
  • Article: Chiu, M. M., & Chow, B. W. Y. (2010). Culture, motivation, and reading achievement: high school students in 41 countries. Learning & Individual Differences, 20(6), 579?592.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the ScienceDirect Psychology Subject Collection database.
  • Article: Dimitrov, D. (2006). Cultural differences in motivation for organizational learning and training. International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities & Nations, 5(4), 37?48.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the SocINDEX with Full Text database.
  • Article: Miller, J. G., Das, R., & Chakravarthy, S. (2011). Culture and the role of choice in agency. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(1), 46?61.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the PsycARTICLES database.

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