Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Arpana G. Inman
For centuries, the field of psychology has been interested in understanding behavior and cultures. In effect, social and behavioral scientists have identified two critical approaches in understanding human behavior and cultures: an etic perspective and an emic perspective . Based on universal comparisons of behaviors that can be generalized across cultures, the etic approach is consistent with the use of quantitative hypothetical-deductive methods wherein researchers or outsiders are the primary judges of the validity of an experience. Conversely, based in a belief that unique values and norms of a given culture are key to understanding behaviors meaningful to indigenous members of a given society, the emic approach is consistent with qualitative research methodologies wherein members of the society or insiders become the primary sources of validity of a particular experience. With the increasing knowledge that behavior or phenomena can be universal and yet be culturally bound, the etic-emic distinction Originally ...