How our Idea of Well-Being is Shaped by our Culture

How come some people can’t go a day without eating pork while some groups of people completely avoid it? Some cultures prohibit gambling in all ways and in some it’s completely normal to search for a Harrah’s Casino promo code for 2019 during any time of night and day. Even the basic needs of people differ greatly from group to group.

So, what is ‘your culture’

Your culture is typically defined as your surrounding environment that you experienced throughout your development and is comprised of many factors.  Culture tends to vary between different countries and different areas all over the world, but can also vary between families living in the same country. Your culture ultimately ends up shaping and guiding your decision-making and belief systems later in life, this is a concept known as the internal working model.  For example, if a child has parents who are happily married, and they experience a stable, loving relationship during the development stage, then they will generally maintain a positive view of love and relationships later in life.

How it shapes your idea of well-being

Many studies have proven that your culture and upbringing shapes and effects your ideas and beliefs about well-being and happiness, below are some of the ways that culture can affect your beliefs about well-being:

Need for positivity

Different cultures around the world appear to have different beliefs and needs regarding positivity.  Most people around the world seek out positive experiences and dislike negative experiences or unwanted negative comments. However, some cultures place less emphasis on seeking out positive experiences than others. For example, a study found that members of the public in America often require two positive events to offset one negative event, whereas many countries such as Japan only required one positive event to offset a negative event and maintain a positive well-being.

Perception of gift receiving

In most western countries, gift-giving is seen as an act designed to bring positivity and happiness to the recipient. However, this is not the case across all cultures.  Some cultures, such as South Korea, do not necessarily see gift-giving as a positive and enjoyable act. In fact, a study found that many people in South Korea who receive a gift view it as a reminder that they are not doing enough for their community.  With a simple cultural variation, an act that is considered positive and often kind in one culture can be considered upsetting, if not offensive in another.

Collective happiness V Individual happiness

A final example of how your culture can affect your views on welfare is the way in which you perceive true happiness cultures can be one of two things, either collectivist (individuals are perceived as part of one large machine- the community), or individualistic (societies where individuals tend to place their own needs above the needs community as a whole). Studies have found that members of the public in collectivist societies tend to find true happiness when most people in a group are happy, whereas in an individualist Society, members of the public tend to find happiness when they themselves are happy rather than everybody else.

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