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Floyd Webster Rudmin

Floyd Webster Rudmin

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My academic degrees are a BA in philosophy, MA in audiology, PhD in social psychology. My common threads through these three fields have been semantics and psycholinguistics, in cross-cultural contexts. Specific topics of interest include:

(1) Psychology of ownership: What does it mean to "own" something? What are the inner psychological forces that underlie perceptions, cognitions, and behaviors pertaining to private property? I have done numerous cross-cultural studies and cognitive studies. A present interest is to revive Heider's theory of ownership.

(2) Cognitive History: Again following Heider's lead, history is not so much about what happened in the past, as what we believe happened in the past. How do we acquire historical beliefs? Or change them? Why do we seem so ready to fight for our historical beliefs, to kill, risk death, and dare the destruction of our own communities? Although there is a massive psychological literature on self-identity, the processes by which we attach national history to our personal biography have been little examined.

(3) Cross-cultural methods: One interest is to articulate the phenomenological methods used by Heider and Ichheiser so successfully. But I must admit that I do not yet understand these well enough to use them myself or to teach them to students. A second interest is to systematically critique the psychometric methods used in cross-cultural psychology. This field has been excessively and unnecessarily lax. For example, acculturation attitude scales of assimilation, separation, integration, and marginalization (a) have ill-conceived constructs, (b) violate norms for good psychometric items, (c) lack controls on acquiescence and social desirability bias, (d) are routinely used in multivariate analyses even though they are ipsative with one another, and (e) are variously discussed as "modes", "styles", "strategies", values","options", etc.

(4) History of social & cross-cultural psychology: McDougall's 1908 book was not about social psychology. "Stereotype" was not coined by Walter Lippman. The Fundamental Error of Attribution was articulated by Ichheiser in the 1940s. The first cross-cultural study in 1801 was a precursor to genocide. Without history, our science is just hear-say.

Primary Interests:

  • Aggression, Conflict, Peace
  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Ethics and Morality
  • Internet and Virtual Psychology
  • Law and Public Policy
  • Political Psychology
  • Research Methods, Assessment

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Floyd Webster Rudmin
Department of Psychology
University of Tromsø
9037 Tromsø

  • Phone: (+47) 77 64 59 53
  • Fax: (+47) 77 64 52 91

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