We will be exposed to a variety of cultures throughout life, some more than others. It is important to remember that, although we share universal norms as a species, unique and diverse cultures carry with them different normative behaviors and beliefs. This is true in our biblical teachings as well. For example, it is a norm in most modern cultures to be monogamous in relationships, whereas this viewpoint was very different in much of the Old Testament. In practice, some cultures emphasize avoiding eye contact as a sign of respect, whereas you as a clinician may see it as being evasive. Being exposed to these differences can elicit a variety of reactions from curiosity to discomfort, but a general understanding that these differing norms exist, and shape behavior and attitudes is essential to the social psychological field. Write a 1.5-page double spaced paper in which you identify a cultural norm that is very different from your own. Explore aspects of that norm’s cultural influences that shape behaviors and attitudes and discuss how misunderstanding can occur to someone who has not been exposed to this culture before. In a final paragraph, discuss how becoming more knowledgeable about cultural diversity will help you in your future chosen profession.

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