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Discussion – Cultural Schema

Discussion – Cultural Schema

Cultural schemas are cognitive mechanisms that influence the actions of an individual. Cultural schemas create meaning systems that help people analyze, understand, and interpret culture. Therefore, Cultural schema provides the information a person requires to interpret situations and understand other individuals, thus strengthening individual interactions (Ross & Nisbett, 2011). In other words, when one is using schemas, one can look at people’s actions and understand the meanings easily, and at the same time, one can use the schemas to respond appropriately. As such, schemers like gender schemas can help a person understand a given society’s culture. For instance, in some cultures, men can kiss on the forehead as a sign of respect and strong friendship. However, in some societies, such actions are considered immoral.

Therefore, using this example, one can say that cultural schemas can help one understand culture because one can respond appropriately if one has the right schemas. For instance, a person with a Muslim cultural schema will easily understand when a female Muslim does not greet using a handshake, and they can efficiently respond with a verbal greeting. However, one without such an understanding may consider such a person rude. Notably, in some communities, greeting people through a handshake is more respectable, but this kind of greeting may be offensive to such an individual. Schemas can help a person understand another culture. Cultural understanding can help them interact because they will respond appropriately. As Boutyline and Soter (2021) state, it is notable that When it comes to gender, the understanding of schema can also help one understand why a given gender behaves in a certain way and how they socialize. For example, it is easier to understand why European men and men in the West care for children and undertake house chores. However, in other cultures, especially African and Asian cultures, it is more masculine to order women to undertake such tasks.


Boutyline, A., & Soter, L. K. (2021). Cultural Schemas: What They Are, How to Find Them, and What to Do Once You’ve Caught One. American Sociological Review, 86(4), 728–758.

Ross, L. & Nisbett, R. (2011). The person and the situation: Perspectives of social psychology.    London: Pinter & Martin Ltd. Second edition.


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Discussion - Cultural Schema

Discussion – Cultural Schema

Describe how schemas assist and interfere with understanding culture.
Focus on gender and ethnicity.
Please use your textbook, at least one peer-reviewed article, and a scholarly web source.
Post an initial 200-word response

Assigned Readings:

Chapters 7 & 8
Culture, Schemas, and prejudice: (Click CTRL and link) /content/enforced/15412-PSY472-020405-Master/cultstyles, schemas, and prejudice.pdf

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