How Does Culture Affect Behavior?

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Culture is a complex phenomenon that incorporates nearly all aspects of the experience shared by human beings, and it is culture that dictates the social expectations humans must adhere to in order to belong to their social group. In order to participate in a culture, it is necessary to adhere to the behaviors dictated by that culture.

Science for All Americans Online explains that human beings are naturally drawn to participate in culture because they are social creatures. In order to survive, humans developed the social skills necessary to cooperate within a group. Group culture dictates the behavioral norms for the group, and in exchange for protection in numbers and acceptance into the group, humans modify their behavior to match that which is deemed acceptable by the culture of the group.

The Huffington Post examines the influence of culture on behavior by discussing the expansive reach of culture in both public and private life. Although the behavioral rules laid out by culture may be vague and unspoken, they are even more thoroughly enforced now than ever by the mass dissemination of culture through modern media and social networking. The more entrenched cultural expectations become, the more powerful they are at affecting both individual and group behavior.