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MCAT Monday: Society and Culture - Culture

Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior Section: Foundational Concept 9 focuses on Society and Culture. Cultural and social differences influence well-being.

Social structure and demographic factors influence peoples’ health and well-being. Knowledge about basic sociological theories, social institutions, culture, and demographic characteristics of societies is important to understand how these factors shape peoples’ lives and their daily interactions. (via AAMC)

Under this review, there is an article about cultural relativism and videos covering different aspects of culture.



Practice Questions:

1. Studies have shown that in some tribal cultures, it is normative to have multiple wives. While it is not considered legal or common practice in many parts of the world, researchers believe that an individual’s norms and actions should be understood by others in terms of that individual’s own cultural context. This concept is referred to as: Choose 1 answer

  • A: Cultural interpretation

  • B: Cultural sensitivity

  • C: Cultural relativism

  • D: Cultural boundaries

2. An exchange student travels to Morocco to learn local language and culture. The first month he was there, he spent a lot of time at local bazaars where he learned about Moroccan “material culture”. Which of the following is not an example of material culture?

Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Necklaces

  • B: Prayers

  • C: Vases

  • D: Artifacts

3. Sushi and other culturally Japanese foods have become widely accepted outside of Japan. There are now Japanese restaurants everywhere in the US. There are even American versions of Japanese food, such as the “California roll”. This is an example of:

Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Social construction

  • B: Cultural innovation

  • C: Cultural diffusion

  • D: Cultural lag

4. Proper gestures and body language are important during business interactions. When conducting business with other cultures, how should we understand gestures (such as shaking your head)? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Gestures are universal and always have the same meaning

  • B: Gestures are interpreted the same way by all cultures

  • C: Gestures are naturally understood by humans and animals

  • D: Gestures are defined uniquely by each culture

5. A person who grew up in American culture hears many jokes about the Korean practice of eating dogs and how it is considered a “bizarre” action in the States. This is an example of:

Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Labeling

  • B: Cognitive dissonance

  • C: Ethnocentrism

  • D: Racism

6. John travels to a new country. While in line at the train station, other people stand very close to him--way closer than he is used to back home. John immediately feels anxious and uncomfortable. The disorientation a person may feel when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life changes in social environments is referred to as: Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Cultural dependency

  • B: Culture clash

  • C: Culture shock

  • D: Cultural sickness

7. In the 1960s, we witness social movements such as the hippie peace movement, the feminist movement, or the green movement. At the time, the norms and values of these social group placed it at odds with the dominant (mainstream) culture. They were referred to as: Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Underground groups

  • B: Enthusiast groups

  • C: Subcultures

  • D: Countercultures

8. When we get sick, we can type out our symptoms on the computer and search for them. We can even get instantaneous diagnoses and treatment recommendations. According to some new studies, computer diagnostics have been shown to outperform physician judgement in some contexts. However, the majority of the population still prefer paying personal visits to the doctor’s office. This is an example of: Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Cultural lag

  • B: Culture bias

  • C: Culture diffusion

  • D: Culture shock

9. American English commonly uses words that originate from various African, Asian, and non-English-speaking European cultures. This is an example of: Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Linguistic relativism

  • B: Dominant culture

  • C: Cultural relativism

  • D: Cultural diffusion

10. To conduct a cross-country study of workplace culture for women in the US and Mexico, a researcher interviews 100 women ages of 25 to 50 in an American city, and 100 women in the same age group in a Mexican city. This study would be classified as: Choose 1 answer:

  • A: A survey

  • B: Participant observation

  • C: Network analysis

  • D: Content analysis

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