Psychologicl Universal

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Tuesday August 3, 2010

Psychological Universals

There are two statements about human beings that are true: that all human beings are alike, and that all are different. On those two facts all human wisdom is founded.

—Mark Van Doren, American poet (1894 –1972)

Human psychological universals are attributes that are shared by all human beings across cultures with some differences in the actual application due to specific cultural factors. Examples of such universals are patterns of thinking/openness, and attitude towards the others especially the elderly. Saudi Arabian and American cultures are examples that we can compare and see the similarities and differences.

When we discuss the way of thinking and openness, I notice that the way of thinking and openness in Saudi Arabia may vary from one group to another and from people in a geographical area to another. For example, people in the eastern and the western areas are more open-minded than those who were raised and lived in the central part of the country. In the eastern area which is coastal, people meet others from different cultures through their trading, the import and export of the goods, and the selling fishery products. The contact with people from all over the world enables an exchange of cultural experiences and in turn, these people transfer their experience to their communities. This is why the people from the eastern part of Saudi Arabia are noticed to be more open to the others and accept others easily regardless of their background. In addition, the eastern area is also well known for the agriculture, and this creates an attitude of helping each other among the population.

In the western part of Saudi Arabia, the same applies regarding exporting and the contact with other cultures through these businesses. In addition to this, the pilgrimage to Mecca has a great influence on the people from the western places, because people meet millions of pilgrims every year from all over the world and...