Dear Participant in the 5th Latin American Regional Conference of Cross-Cultural Psychology
The International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology (IACCP) was founded in 1972 and held its inaugural meeting in Hong Kong in 1972. Only one year later, in 1973, the tradition commenced to hold smaller regional meetings in odd years, whereas our International Congresses have always been held in even years. The first ever regional conference was hosted in Ibadan, Nigeria. Since then IACCP has been the host of two further African Regional Conferences, five Asian, nine European, two North American, and four Latin American Regional Congresses. The Regional Conference in San José, Costa Rica in the fifth in the Latin America sequence. Yet, the San José event adds a novelty to IACCP’s scientific meetings: It is the first time we hold an IACCP event south of Mexico. We finally enter the Global South also in the Americas!
The goal of cross-cultural psychology is the study of the role of cultural factors in shaping human behavior, that is, the interpretation or explanation of how cultural variation is associated with variation or communality of psychological variables.
The aims of IACCP are to facilitate communication among persons interested in cross-cultural psychology and to pursue more effectively the universal validity of psychological theories in all branches of psychology and related disciplines. Cooperation with neighboring disciplines like sociology, political science, or anthropology are the call of the day.
The original trench between nomothetic comparative research, with the goal of determining general processes or psychological universals across cultures as well as variations in psychological variables attributable to specific cultural features within societies, and cultural/indigenous research, with a focus on the analysis of specific cultures and processes therein, is largely an issue of the past.
Interest in cross-cultural psychology has greatly increased during the past few decades. IACCP now has a world-wide membership drawn from most diverse cultural backgrounds. Through meetings, conferences, its Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, and interpersonal exchanges, it provides a vehicle for communication and cooperation among its members and a means of drawing the attention of other psychologists and scientists in related disciplines to the dynamic interactions between culture and behavior. IACCP is committed to the pursuit of excellence in scholarship and research, to the application of knowledge in the amelioration of social problems, and to the maintenance of high standards of ethical behavior among its members.
You are cordially welcomed to the V th Latin American Regional Congress in San José, Costa Rica, which is sure to continue the IACCP conference tradition of excellence in its scientific program under the dedicated leadership of Mariano Rosabal-Coto.
For over 25 million years, Costa Rica has been a natural geographic bridge for the Americas.
Thousands of years ago, Costa Rica served as a bridge between the original cultures of Mesoamerica Mayan and the Chibchan cultures of South America. We also serve as biological corridor that contains 6% of the world’s biodiversity. But also, because of historical conditions, we are a country that has sheltered thousands of immigrants, refugees and diverse peoples who have made us their home.
A small territory that encloses the fusion of Amerindian, African, Oriental and European cultures, Costa Rica serves as a stage for various types of encounters. Today, the Psychological Research Institute (IIP) and the University of Costa Rica have been honored to offer their resources to organize and host, together with the IACCP, the next Regional Conference to be held in July 16-19, 2019. For us, reaching this milestone resembles much of our history and essence as country, as a nation.
In establishing our slogan: "Building Bridges among diversity" we take up the challenge of offering IACCP an academic, international and regional platform that can develop and strengthen new collaborative networks (throughout the region and outside the region), as well as encourage more culturally sensitive points of view within this scientific community.
With increasing strength, Cross-cultural Psychology and Cultural Psychology have provided a counter position to the hegemony of WEIRD psychology, a psychology which is often considered universal, but lacks diversity and fails to take into account the complex realities of the Global South. The work of scholars of the Global South would benefit from more discussion about models and methods that are sensitive to non-western contexts. The work of scholars from the Global North would benefit from greater exposure to views from the Global South. In this Conference we want to create a platform to support those objectives.
May our hospitality accompany your stay and our open arms offer you the warmest of welcome to the 5th Regional Latin American Conference of the IACCP, San José, Costa Rica, 2019.
On behalf of the Organizing and Scientific Committees, as well as the academic community of Costa Rica, we say: ¡Los esperamos en San José! (We look forward to seeing you in San José!)
Dr. Mariano Rosabal-Coto (Universidad de Costa Rica)
Chair of the 5th Latin American Regional Conference, IACCP, 2019