Different factors prevent people from being objective that letssocieties adapt to cultures different from their own. A couple of such factorsinclude overgeneralizing and ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism does not lead tointercultural communication because each person of a different culture has adefinition of what is “normal” and prevents them from looking at other culturesunbiasedly. Another barrier that prevents people from being objective isovergeneralization. Societies tend to overgeneralize because they see only apart of a picture and apply their perception to the whole.
A way we can avoidovergeneralizing is to acknowledge individuality and value each person’suniqueness rather than simplifying his or her character within stereotypes. Onemajor reason objectivity is difficult for some people are the existingdifferences. In my culture for example, we have a norm called “taarof”. This iswhen someone proposes invitations or offers any act of kindness and the onlyway for the other person to show respect is to decline. Salespersons use taarofvery often and refuse to accept payment from their customers at least once toshow their respect. The brain divides in two parts: the conscious and the unconscious.For example, when we say three times three equals nine, it is the consciousnessthat uses mathematics, reasoning, and logic to find the answer. On thecontrary, part of our mind is unconsciously responsible for all of our beliefs,emotions, and habits.
Cultures and pre-defined social behaviors lie within theunconscious and therefore lead to our lack of objectivity. Sincechildhood, social habits form a person’s cultural identity. These habits andbeliefs store themselves in our unaware minds and settle deep withinpersonalities, gradually taking away the ability to look from the conscious, orin other words, objective perspective. The reason behind objectivity is tolearn accepting the differences in the world between co-cultures and dominantcultures, or in Dr.
Cargile’s words, we can learn to “Add without Contradiction”.When people face situations unprocessed in their unconscious because theyidentify the difference and try to align what they learned with what theypreviously knew. In other words, they compare the cultures they are learningwith their own cultural standards. Finally, people reach a state of judgment.Based on the psychological Theory of Personality, our conscious helps usanalyze and understand the reasons behind each society’s cultural differenceswith one another. Many years ago, I translated texts for psychology students and Iconfronted articles about consciousness and unconsciousness that are crucialfactors in shaping our judgment in contrast with intercultural communication. Toname a few, Dr.
Sigmund Freud and Dr. Carl Jung had many studies on the effectsof the human brain on personalities and social lives. First to be able to identify wayspeople learn cultures, one needs to know the definition of culture. Culture is a collection of justified approaches towardsresolving the needs of a community.
For example, speaking in Japanese is anapproach to resolve the need for communicating and expressing one’s thoughts, ideas,and feelings for a certain group of people. On the other hand, speaking inArabic is a different approach taken by a different group of people, yet toresolve the same need. Culture is a complex treasury that consists of socialbehaviors, moralities, norms, customs, beliefs, and arts. Cultures transfer tonext generations by education and society is highly influenced by dominantcultural environments.