Our Cultures, Our Selves: Their Relevance for Humans and Artificial Agents

Hazel Rose MarkusHazel Rose Markus is the Davis-Brack Professor in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Her research focuses on the role of self in regulating behavior and on the ways in which the social world shapes the self. Her work examines how cultures, including those of nation or region of origin, gender, social class, race, ethnicity, religion, and occupation, shape thought, feeling, and action. In this talk, Hazel examines these points:

1. Selves are socioculturally-shaped shapers of their worlds.
2. Cultures are cycles of ideas, institutions, interactions and individuals. Selves are nodes in many intersecting culture cycles and are always multicultural.
3. Behavior depends on the self, e.g.,
-In the middle class West, individual preferences and choices drive behavior.
-Outside the middle class West, norms, obligations, and expectations shape behavior.
4. Understanding how people will relate to the interactive technologies of the future depends on their cultures and their selves.