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In my view, the study of culture provides three main contributions to our understanding of human behavior and mental processes. First there is great knowledge to impart about cultural similarities and differences in behavior, and these form the basis for improving psychological theories. Second the study of culture is a prime example of critical thinking in the field, as cross-cultural research begs the question about whether our notions of truth and psychological principles are applicable to people beyond those whom were studied. Third research on intercultural adjustment provides us with clues about possible psychological constructs that may be universally necessary for adjusting to life well in a pluralistic and diverse environment. I discuss these contributions, and reframe thinking about the goals of education focusing on these skills.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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