Social psychology researchers tend to think about cultures as shared meaning systems that provide the knowledge people need to function effectively in their social environment. To see the importance of shared meaning systems, imagine that you were in a different culture where you did not know the language or the customs. It would be quite difficult for you to function in such a culture, at least until you learned these things. It is only when you share knowledge with others that you can communicate and interact with them effectively. Because of this shared knowledge, people in a culture are likely to have some similar ways of thinking about the world, to perceive things in a similar way, to have similar values and attitudes, to want ...

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