Determinants of Cultural Differences in Basic Cognitive Functions: an Introductory Qualitative Study

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Psychology, Faculty of Ethic and Education, Institute of Humanities and Cultural Study, Tehran, Iran.


The purpose of this study was to identify factors that explain cultural differences in cognitive functions and to examine the characteristics of these factors in Iranian culture. This research is basic in its objectives and was conducted using a qualitative research method and the technique of document analysis. The official website of PsychNet, PubMed, Elsevier, Noormags, Ensani Portal and SID were used to search for articles. After searching for keywords, the statistical population of this study included the first 100 articles from each of these databases and a total of 600 articles published between 2000 and 2020. A total of 67 manuscripts met the criteria to be included in the analysis. Documentary analysis was conducted using the method of Altheide & Schneider (2013). The results indicated 35 cultural characteristics that could be considered to explain cultural differences in cognitive function. These 35 primary characteristics were divided into 3 categories: 1. linguistic characteristics such as speech rate and phonological similarity; 2. family and educational characteristics such as parental framework and parenting styles; 3. values and norms such as social orientation and self-concept. In each of the above categories, Iranian society had its own exclusive characteristics, and the subjects influenced Iranian children's cognitive functions differently from other cultures. This study may have many implications for cognitive training and future research.


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