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About us Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences Psychology Research Units Social Psychology

Social Work in Cross-Cultural Contexts: Does Help seeking and Accepting Depend on World Views?

Social Psychology

Culture shapes behavior. This we know. But to further uncover how, we set out to describe the cultural process in terms of social dynamics, and to devise a new scale on the basis of this concept. In short, whereas traditional concepts of culture are defined at a national level, we see culture as originating at the community level: within groups that are central and guiding to people. This has implications for the types of values that may be central. Our Community Collectivism scale (CCS) conceptualizes culture as established and maintained within dynamic social relationships. We proposed four central processes in this dynamic: (a) communities foster group loyalty (b) preserve group hierarchy and (c) guard against violations of norms. Furthermore, (d) individuals seek a degree of agency. In a series of studies we first validated the methodological characteristics of our scale, and subsequently researched its utilities to explain and predict. We studied the ability of CCS to predict a wide range of outcomes, from individual attitudes (e.g., towards healthcare) to intergroup perceptions (sexism, authoritarianism) and behavior (e.g., voting behavior). The implications of these findings for our understanding of culture, and what constitutes ?cultural behavior?, will be the central theme of the final dissertation.

Researchers and partners

University of Groningen, outside of Behavioural and Socials Sciences
  • The primary researcher of this project is an external PhD-candidate, and not a member of staff. This setup naturally limits the possibilities for cooperation with other projects and staff members.


  • Postmes, T., Akkus, B., & Stroebe, K. (2015). The discovery of the Other in social and cultural psychology. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 46(10), 1336-1340.
Successful grant proposals and other achievements
  • - Doctoral Grant for Teacher, The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, (2011).
  • - Extension (one year) of Doctoral Grant for Teacher, The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, (2015).

More information

  • Birol Akkus (infrequently) writes for
Last modified:29 March 2021 10.17 a.m.
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