Psychologie a její kontexty, Vol.10, No.1
Základní témata čínské původní psychologie
Basic themes of Chinese indigenous psychology
Původní psychologie studují místní fenomény s pomocí konceptů a terminologie vycházejících
z dané kultury. Takovou psychologií je i čínská původní psychologie, která vznikla jako
hnutí za odzápadnění psychologie v čínsky mluvících zemích. Mezi témata, která zkoumá,
patří guanxi – vztah mezi dvěma lidmi udržovaný vzájemnou výměnou dárků či pomoci.
Dalšími v textu probranými tématy jsou tvář, renqing (laskavost), yuan (víra v osud určující
vývoj mezilidských vztahů), xiao (úcta k rodičům vycházející z konfuciánských tradic),
zhong yong (myšlení středu), suzhi (kvalita člověka) a bao (koncept reciprocity).
Původní psychologie, Čína, guanxi.
Indigenous psychologies study local phenomena through concepts and terminology native
to people in the given culture in order to provide a deeper understanding of the local culture.
Indigenous psychologies began to spread in 1970 s in various non-western
Chinese indigenous psychology began as a movement for liberating psychology in Chinese
areas from western influences. In this text, we review the culturally specific themes studied
by Chinese indigenous psychologists.
One popular concept studied by many researchers is guanxi. Guanxi is a relationship
between two people which is based on something that they have in common and which is
maintained by the mutual exchange of favors. The possibility of receiving help is the main
reason people seek to establish guanxi.
Another concept is that of the “face”. Face represents evaluation of person’s behavior in
a social situation. Chinese people are very concerned with saving face for themselves and
their acquaintances. Face could be lost through the incorrect behavior of a person, and also
through the misbehavior of a family member. It is better to lose face in the presence of
strangers than in the presence of people who are close.
Renqing is the will to help another person. If someone receives renqing, he or she should
return it. It is hard to measure the value of a favor, so it can never be fully returned. Chinese
people, therefore, do not like to receive renqing from someone.
Yuan is destiny, which is responsible for relationships. A romantic relationship is considered
to be based upon good or bad yuan. If the relationship does not go well, it is not the responsibility of partners or people who persuaded couple to start relationship (i.e.,
parents), but it is because of yuan. In this way, yuan helps to maintain social harmony.
Filial piety (xiao) binds children to their parents. Children should respect their parents and
their parents can influence their children’s decisions, including romantic-partner
Chinese parents enforce tight control of their children from early childhood.
Zhong yong is the tendency to maintain a middle-of-the-road
style of thinking and behavior.
Everything should be perceived from many points of view and a decision should be not
made too quickly. Extremes should be avoided.
Suzhi is the quality of a person – moral characteristics, abilities, and education. People with
higher social status are expected to have more suzhi.
Bao is the concept of reciprocity. If someone does something good or bad, it should be
returned. The reciprocity concept helps to maintain harmony in society.
Chinese indigenous psychology might serve as inspiration for researchers from other
cultures. Nevertheless, researchers need to pay attention to the risk of the reification of
their own cultures. Chinese indigenous psychologists are criticized for overestimating the
role of culture on the behavior of Chinese people. Researchers who are developing indigenous
psychologies in their cultures should be aware of the political pressure to express the
uniqueness of their own culture. In the case of Czech psychology, it is an open question as to whether it should develop its own indigenous psychology or work with researchers from
culturally similar nations, like other Slavic cultures.
Indigenous psychology, China, guanxi.