What Is Asian Psychology?

C. Webb

Asian psychology is an area of ethnic psychology that focuses on psychological concepts with regard to Asian culture. Research claims that one's cultural upbringing impacts the way a person thinks, acts, and reacts. The study of Asian culture and its effect on the thought process and behaviors of Asians in various cultural settings is used to treat the psychological needs of Asian patients.

Asian co-workers spend their lives believing that each individual is only part of a team.
Asian co-workers spend their lives believing that each individual is only part of a team.

Some Asian-focused mental health professionals believe that Asian cultural psychology is overshadowed by psychological principles in other areas of the world. To combat this concern, steps specific to the study of Asian psychology have been implemented. For example, The Asian American Journal of Psychology serves America and is generally viewed as the official printed word on Asian American psychology.

Globalization has highlighted the differences between Eastern an Western philosophies in business as well as everyday society. As globalization moves forward, these differences have the potential to create stress and psychological issues for Asians. The study of Asian psychology and implementation of its practices can help bridge the differences between the two cultures.

One example of the difference between Asian and Western cultures is the interdependence Asians are raised to embrace, compared to the individualism that Western dwellers usually adhere to. Asian families and co-workers spend their lives believing that each individual is only part of a team. The individual parts of the team depend on each other for success. Western culture is much more individualistic and less apt to focus on team building as on individual recognition.

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The belief is that if psychologists worldwide will accept and embrace Asian psychology as the study of how cultural differences impact the lives of Asians, more harmony will be found in an ever-blending society. Knowledge about the impact of cultural differences on society, business, and individuals is used to bridge the gap between the two cultures. The ultimate goal is to understand how the Asian culture permeates the mind and behaviors of its societal members. This understanding makes it possible to treat the various mental health issues that arise in Asian and Asian-American society.

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