Beliefs, Values, Norms, Customs (Definitions)

Harry C. Triandis devised a theoretical framework in which the constructs of beliefs, values, norms, and customs can be studied and applied to develop intercultural competence. He showed that beliefs, values, norms, and customs are subjective values that are shaped by ecology and history, and then, they shape our behaviors, creating complex frameworks of cognition, emotion, and behavior.


Beliefs are links among constructs. They are acquired through socialization and therefore form a part of every culture. People in every culture share certain beliefs, and this makes daily or other occasional interactions efficient and effective. For example, we believe that we will be served food, not poison, in a restaurant. Similarly, we believe that our children are safe in school and can learn new ideas and concepts. ...

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