Cross Cultural Psychology

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Course Information
Discipline(s): 
Psychology
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring
Credits: 
3
Language of instruction: 
Spanish
Contact Hours: 
45
Prerequisites: 

None

Description: 

The primary aim of this course is to provide the student with an overview of both established and contemporary knowledge in the areas of culture and psychology and to facilitate the student in gaining insight into the ethnocentric nature of western psychology. This course covers a combination of key areas in psychology (mental health, social psychology, and human development), each viewed through a cultural lens. Given that the students are in Granada as sojourners (living temporarily outside their own country), the psychological literature in this area is also explored. A further component focuses on the study of the cross-cultural heritage of Granada, as well as on the current multicultural makeup of the region.

The course will provide students with an opportunity to assess their own cultural identity as they approach their new multicultural setting. They will also be able to explore two specific applied topics in cross-cultural psychology at the local level: the Roma people (gypsies) and the Spanish Association for the Blind (ONCE). Thus, the course will afford students a chance to apply the knowledge they have acquired and allow them to gain insight into current cultural issues in Granada.

Watch this short video to get an overview for this course!

Attendance policy: 

Attendance is mandatory for all IES Abroad classes, including course related excursions. Any exams, tests, presentations, or other work missed due to student absences can only be rescheduled in cases of documented medical or family emergencies. If a student misses more than three classes in any course 3% of the final class grade will be deducted for every unjustified student absence. Six absences in any course will result in a failing grade.

Learning outcomes: 

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Assess their cultural identity and cultural heritage.
  • Outline and discuss psychological concepts and theories of cultural adaptation.
  • Apply psychological concepts and theories of cultural adaptation to their experience of cultural adaptation and awareness.
  • Appraise the relevance and applicability of psychological theories (relating to mental health, social psychology, and human development) developed in European and American culture to different cultural contexts.
  • Debate the relevance and applicability of Western approaches to diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems in other cultural contexts.
  • Apply their knowledge from the course to a current socio-cultural issue in Granada.
Method of presentation: 
  • Lectures
  • Class Discussions
  • Guest Speakers
  • Class exercises: Various cross-cultural exercises, simulations, and structured role-playing activities
  • Field studies
  • Readings: The book Culture and Psychology by D. Matsumoto and L. Juang is the core text of the course
  • Group presentations
Required work and form of assessment: 

The final grade will be determined as follows:

  • Class Participation (15%): Active participation throughout the course is expected of each student. Students are required to come to class prepared to discuss the assigned reading(s), contribute to class discussion, and be capable of answering questions posed by the instructor or their peers.
  • Midterm Exam (25%): There will be a mid-term exam, consisting of 3 essay questions to be chosen out of a total of 5 provided by the instructor. Students will have to demonstrate their knowledge of the readings and the lectures, as well as their basic writing skills in the language of instruction. There will be no final exam.
  • Group Project (30%): Groups of three students will research a topic of their choice out of those provided by the instructor and covered in the course. The paper should be 2000 words in length (7-8 pages), typed, doubled-spaced, font 12-pt Arial or Times Roman, and should be submitted both electronically (via e-mail) and in paper format to the instructor in class. The group will also make an oral presentation to the class in which all group members will have to participate. The presentation must last about 20 minutes, and must cover the objectives of the project, the research methods, and the main findings and conclusions.
  • Reflection Journal (30%): Students reflect on their experience of cultural adaptation to Granada, using psychological concepts and theories covered in the course. Entries to the journal will be weekly, and should relate to the psychological concepts and theories covered in the course during the week. They should be submitted electronically every Monday in the form of a blog, each with a minimum of 250 and a maximum of 400 words.

STUDENT PARTICIPATION:

Students are expected to be active participants throughout the entire course and to contribute to the quality of the discussion. Class participation represents a major component of a student’s grade in this course (15%). More than once and on a rolling basis, students will be asked to start classes by addressing a specific reading. Please note that the frequency with which students speak in class is not a key criterion for effective class participation. In order of complexity, the criteria used to measure effective class participation include the following:

  1. Is the comment relevant to the discussion? (Relevance)
  2. Does the student support comments well, using data gathered in this class? (Evidence)
  3. Is the comment clear, complete and concise? (Form)
  4. Is the comment original and insightful? (Originality)
  5. Does it broaden the discussion with all its implications? (Implications)

PERFORMANCE LEVELS FOR GROUP PROJECTS:

  • A GRADE: Complete, accurate, and effectively presented. Active and balanced participation of all group members. Well-written research paper. What distinguishes an A from other grades is the degree of original thought that goes beyond the scope of the readings or class material.
  • B GRADE: Complete, accurate, and effectively presented. Participation of group members is adequately energetic and balanced. Well-written research paper. This grade is characterized by good presentation of the views of others, but only some instances of original thinking/reasoning.
  • C GRADE: Accurate, but a complete representation of the arguments is missing. Presentation fails to convey the material effectively and/or is not balanced among group members. Writing is not engaging or stylish.
  • D GRADE: Poor performance despite the fact the most essential ideas have been covered. Poor or unbalanced participation of group members. Explanations limited. Writing lacking in style.
  • F GRADE: Poor and unbalanced participation. The paper contains major errors of fact or lacks an adequate representation of the material. Writing might contain stylistic or grammatical errors.
content: 

Session

Content

Required Readings

Session 1

Introduction of the course, the group, and the instructor.

In-class cultural identity exercises

None
Session 2 Introduction to psychology and culture. Locating cultural psychology in the broad scope of psychology.

Vaughn, L.M. (2011). Psychology and Culture. Thinking Feeling and Behaving in a Global Context. Ch. 1, pp. 1-19

Matsumoto, D. and Juang, L. (2013). Culture and psychology. Chapter 1, pp. 1-33

Session 3 Sojourners I: Adapting to a new culture. Evaluation of cultural self-identity.

Brislin, R. (1994). Preparing to live and work elsewhere. In J.W. Lonner and R.S. Malpass (Eds.), Psychology and Culture. Ch. 34, pp. 239-244

Bochner, S. (2003). Culture shock due to contact with unfamiliar cultures. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 8(1). 

Sussman, N. M. (2002). Sojourners to another country: The psychological roller-coaster of cultural transitions. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 8(1). 

Session 4 Critical thinking in cross-cultural psychology. Shiraev, E.B. and Levy, D.A. (2010). Cross-cultural psychology. Critical thinking and contemporary applications. Ch. 2, pp. 53-90
Session 5 In-class cross-cultural exploration activities. Vídeo: A class divided
Session 6 Human development: Culture and temperament. Culture and attachment.

Vaughn, L.M. (2011). Psychology and Culture. Thinking Feeling and Behaving in a Global Context. Ch. 3, pp. 45-73

Heine, S.J. (2008). Cultural psychology. Ch. 4, pp. 136-175

Session 7 Cognition and culture. Culture, attention, sensation, and perception. Culture and thinking. Culture and consciousness.

Heine, S.J. (2008). Cultural psychology. Ch. 9, pp. 355-407

Cubero, M. (2005). Un análisis cultural de los procesos perceptivos. Anuario de Psicología, 36: 261-280

Session 8 Emotion and culture: Cultural regulation and cultural construction of the emotional experience. Differences and similarities between Spain and the US in emotional picture processing.

Shiraev, E.B. and Levy, D.A. (2010). Cross-cultural psychology. Critical thinking and contemporary applications. Ch. 6, pp. 150-171

Moltó et al. (1999). Un nuevo método para el estudio experimental de las emociones: el International Affective Picture System (IAPS). Adaptación española. Rev. de Psicol. Gral. y Aplic., 52: 63-68

Session 9 Language and communication in culture: Cultural influences on language and non-verbal communication. Culture and bilingualism.

Matsumoto, D. and Juang, L. (2013). Culture and psychology. Ch. 9, pp. 225-253

Costa et al. (2014). ‘Piensa’ twice: On the foreign language effect on decision making. Cognition, 130: 236-254

Session 10 Gender and culture: Sex and gender. Gender differences across cultures. Gender roles and stereotypes.

Matsumoto, D. and Juang, L. (2013). Culture and psychology. Ch. 6, pp. 147-171

Keith, K.D. (Ed.) (2011). Cross-cultural psychology: Contemporary themes and perspectives. Ch. 11, pp. 211-234

Session 11 Gender and violence: Domestic violence. Female and male sexual ablation.

Shweder, R.A. (2000). What about “female genital mutilation”? And why understanding culture matters in the first place. Daedalus, 129: 209-232

BOE (2005). LEY ORGÁNICA 3/2005, de 8 de julio, de

Session 12 Cultural psychology of disability. Guest lecturer: Cristina González Moya, Jefa Administrativa de Servicios, ONCE.

Mackelprang, R.W., and Salsgiver, R.O. (2009). Disability: A Diversity Model Approach in Human Service Practice. 2nd ed, pp. 1-29

Carver, R. (1981). Cathedral. http://www.freewebs.com/lanzbom/CathedralRayCarver.pdf

Session 13 The Romá people. Female and male roles and worldviews among the gypsies. Video: Palabra de gitano
Session 14 An experience in the creation of culture. Phenomenological effects of the social context on our perception of ourselves and others. Experiencing a synthetic culture. Take-home midterm exam due.
Session 15 Personality and culture: Cross-cultural studies on personality traits and other dimensions of personality.

Matsumoto, D. and Juang, L. (2013). Culture and psychology. Ch. 10, pp. 254-276

Keith, K.D. (Ed.) (2011). Cross-cultural psychology: Contemporary themes and perspectives. Ch. 22, pp. 423-444

Session 16 Culture and health: Cultural differences in the definition of health. Indicators of health worldwide. Well-being and happiness around the world.

Matsumoto, D. and Juang, L. (2013). Culture and psychology. Ch. 7, pp. 172-197

Session 17 Cultural alternatives to Western models of physical and mental health treatment. Guest lecturer: Dr. Alberto Morales, Professor, Dept. of Psychology, UGR TBA
Session 18 Treatment and psychopathology from a cultural perspective: Culture and psychotherapy. Barriers to treatment. Culturally competent services.

Matsumoto, D. and Juang, L. (2013). Culture and psychology. Ch. 12, pp. 307-329

Qureshi Burckhardt, A. and Collazos Sánchez, F. (2006). El modelo americano de competencia cultural psicoterapéutica y su aplicabilidad en nuestro medio. Papeles del Psicólogo, 27(1): 50-57

Session 19 Abnormal psychology and culture: the case of ADHD.

Matsumoto, D. and Juang, L. (2013). Culture and psychology. Ch. 11, pp. 277-306

Pérez Sales, P. (2004). Psicología y psiquiatría transcultural. Ch. 5-6, pp. 38-60

Session 20 The effect of culture on the expression and prevalence of eating disorders. Guest lecturer: Dr. Sonia Rodríguez, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, UGR TBA
Session 21 Sojourners II: Going home. Re-entry shock. Re-evaluation of cultural self-identity.

Hickson, J. (1994). Coming home again. In J.W. Lonner & R.S. Malpass (Eds.), Psychology and culture. Ch. 36, pp. 253-257.

Session 22 Review of course material in the form of an in-class activity. None
Session 23 In-class group presentations None
Session 24 In-class group presentations None  
Required readings: 
  • Berry, J.W., Poortinga, Y.H., Segall, M.H., & Dasen, P.R. (2002). Cross-cultural psychology. Research and applications. 2nd ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Heine, S.J. (2008). Cultural psychology. New York, NY: W. W. Norton.
  • Keith, K.D. (Ed.) (2011). Cross-cultural psychology: Contemporary themes and perspectives. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Matsumoto, D., & Juang, L. (2013). Culture and psychology. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.
  • Shiraev, E.B., & Levy, D.A. (2010). Cross-cultural psychology: Critical thinking and contemporary applications. 4th ed. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Vaughn, L.M. (2011). Psychology and Culture. Thinking Feeling and Behaving in a Global Context. East Sussex, UK: Psychology Press.
  • Brislin, R. (1994). Preparing to live and work elsewhere. In J.W. Lonner & R.S. Malpass (Eds.), Psychology and Culture. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, pp. 239-244.
  • Bochner, S. (2003). Culture shock due to contact with unfamiliar cultures. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 8(1). dx.doi.org/10.9707/2307-0919.1073
  • Carver, R. (1981). Cathedral. www.freewebs.com/lanzbom/CathedralRayCarver.pdf
  • Costa et al. (2014). ‘Piensa’ twice: On the foreign language effect on decision making. Cognition, 130: 236-254.
  • Cubero, M. (2005). Un análisis cultural de los procesos perceptivos. Anuario de Psicología, 36: 261-280.
  • Hickson, J. (1994). Coming home again. In J.W. Lonner & R.S. Malpass (Eds.), Psychology and culture. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, pp. 253-257.
  • Mackelprang, R.W. and Salsgiver, R.O. (2009). Disability: A diversity model approach in human service practice. 2nd ed. Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books. Chapter 1.
  • Moltó et al. (1999). Un nuevo método para el estudio experimental de las emociones: el International Affective Picture System (IAPS). Adaptación española. Rev. de Psicol. Gral. y Aplic., 52: 63-68.
  • Pérez Sales, P. (2004). Psicología y psiquiatría transcultural. Bases prácticas para la acción. Bilbao: Desclée de Brower, pp. 63-86
  • Qureshi Burckhardt, A., & Collazos Sánchez, F. (2006). El modelo americano de competencia cultural psicoterapéutica y su aplicabilidad en nuestro medio. Papeles del Psicólogo, 27: 50-57.
  • Shweder, R.A. (2000). What about “female genital mutilation”? And why understanding culture matters in the first place. Daedalus, 129: 209-232
  • Sussman, N. M. (2002). Sojourners to Another Country: The Psychological Roller-Coaster of Cultural Transitions. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 8(1). dx.doi.org/10.9707/2307-0919.1067