Culture, Mind, and Brain: Emerging Concepts, Methods, Applications

This article was originally published at The Conversation and is republished here in accordance with their guidelines. Philosopher Dominic Murphy is the author of Psychiatry in the Scientific Image (MIT, 2006).

Read the original article.

Strange or just plain weird? Cultural variation in mental illness

By Dominic Murphy, University of Sydney

The Conversation MATTERS OF THE MIND – a series which examines the clinician’s bible for diagnosing mental disorders, the DSM, and the controversy surrounding the forthcoming fifth edition.

There’s an old saying that psychology has two model organisms: the rat and the American college student. As research subjects rats are fine, the problem is that that Americans are, as evolutionary psychologist Joe Henrich and his colleagues recently pointed out, WEIRD. That is, they’re Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich and Democratic. In fact, most westerners are WEIRD, but Americans are the WEIRDest of all.

People in western countries have values and…

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About Constance A. Cummings

Constance A. Cummings, PhD, is Project Director of the non-profit Foundation for Psychocultural Research, which supports and advances interdisciplinary research and scholarship at the intersection of brain, mind, culture, and mental health and illness. She is co-editor (with Carol Worthman, Paul Plotsky, and Dan Schechter) of Formative Experiences: The Interaction of Caregiving, Culture, and Developmental Psychobiology (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and (with Laurence Kirmayer and Rob Lemelson) the forthcoming Re-Visioning Psychiatry: Cultural Phenomenology, Critical Neuroscience, and Global Mental Health (Cambridge, 2015). She received her doctorate in theoretical linguistics from New York University.

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