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Title: Behavioural and neurobiological effects of cultural attachment
Authors: Yap, Wei Jie
Keywords: DRNTU::Business::General::Social aspects
Issue Date: 2018
Source: Yap, W. J. (2018). Behavioural and neurobiological effects of cultural attachment. Doctoral thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: Cultural attachment (CA) suggests that individuals form attachment bonds to their culture, which, in a similar way to prototypical maternal figures, functions as an attachment figure. However, the effects of CA on human behavior and the related neurobiological responses are not well understood. The present thesis examines CA by firstly reviewing the related literature to elaborate on the current understanding of CA, in relation to theories and data from different disciplines. From the review, a conceptual model for cultural attachment is proposed by integrating several existing models. Following that, two affective priming studies were carried out to examine the neurobiological effects of the hypothesized sense of security obtained from CA. Study 1 measured the skin conductance responses (SCR) of individuals whilst Study 2 used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure the blood oxygen level dependent responses in the brain. Subliminally presented home cultural symbols were found to mitigate stress responses to threat and aid in emotion regulation. In particular, the presence of home cultural symbols reduced the typical increase in threat-related SCR suggesting that the threat-related arousal was affected. The second study found that, when under threat, the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (LDLPFC) - an area involved in emotion regulation acted in a similar fashion: higher LDLPFC activity due to threat was reduced in the presence of home cultural symbols. Other individual differences, such as need for cognitive closure and particular aspects of cultural attachment, were found to moderate the effectiveness of home cultural symbols in mitigating threats. Overall, this thesis provides converging multimodal evidence of the effects of CA and cultural symbols on threat mitigation, thus setting the basis for potential emotional mechanisms that could explain how cultural symbols can act as extensions of prototypical attachment figures.
DOI: 10.32657/10220/47357
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:NBS Theses

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