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The Meta-Research in Culture Initiative (MARTA)

What is it?

MARTA identifies problems and biases in the way psychologists study culture. By conducting meta-research or "research on research", MARTA aims at improving our understanding of the contribution of cultural processes in behavior and cognition. It follows other meta-research initiatives, including the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS).

What are its goals?

1. To expose underlying assumptions regarding culture in psychological science, and how they impede the advancement of the field.
2. To generate evidence-based solutions to these issues.
3. To improve our understanding of behavior and cognition through more nuanced conceptual and theoretical models.

What are its themes?

1. Culture is universal: we often think of culture and ethnicity as something that only minorities and foreigners have, when in fact, all humans beings have culture.
2. Culture develops over time: we often approach cultural processes as essential characteristics that remain stable, when in reality, individuals develop culture over time (Causadias, 2013).
3. New models of culture: because of the aforementioned problems, we need to update the way we represent culture in psychology.

What are its projects?

1. The Ethnic Food Aisle problem.
2. The 20th anniversary meeting of Garcia Coll and colleagues (1996)
3. Cultural development and psychopathology (Causadias, 2013)