Cultural differences between people are a common phenomenon. Cultural background is often mentioned as an explanation for differences in behaviour between groups or people. However, it is often unclear what these cultural differences actually are or how cultural background influences our thoughts and behaviours.|
It is important to be able to think critically about cultural differences because many psychologists have to deal with people from different cultural backgrounds. This requires that psychologists know about the ways that culture influences people and that they are sensitive to possible cultural differences in the daily practice of their jobs.
This course aims to provide the student with an introduction to cultural psychology. At the end of the course, the student has an overview of the influence of culture on human thoughts and behaviours. In addition, students are aware of possible cultural differences and have the capacity to think critically about such differences.
- Students will have a thorough understanding of (a) the basic concepts and methods in cultural psychology, (b) the influence of culture on affect, cognition, and behavior, (c) cultural transmission, (d) multiculturalism, biculturalism, and acculturation, (d) intercultural communication, and (e) specific cultural debates.
- Students will be able to think critically about methods to investigate cross-cultural differences and the impact of culture on affect, cognition, and behavior.
- Students will receive the opportunity to apply their skills to professionally and ethically communicate with someone from a different cultural background.
The course consists the most important findings of cross-cultural psychology. The material covers broad knowledge of cultural differences in various psychological domains, including the course book (Shiraev & Levy). Specialization topics follow the literature in the course syllabus/Blackboard.|
All material discussed in the course is exam-relevant, except when it is explicitly mentioned that this is not the case.
Exams consist of 30 multiple-choice questions (exam + resit). Roughly half of the questions are about the book and the specialization topics.
The course, all communication, and the examination will be in English. Dictionaries are (unfortunately) not allowed.
Exam (+resit) (~30 mc items each)
Students will have the opportunity (voluntary assignment for bonus credit) conduct an interview to acquire first-hand experience about cross-cultural differences and similarities. Students are encouraged to contact interview partners on their own. Groups of students will study interview as well as ethical guidelines. Each group will approach one exchange/international student. Interviews can take place during the regular weekly meetings of the exchange/international students (or at another time that is agreed upon between the parties). Remember: These interview partners voluntarily help you!
Each group member will ask at least one interview question that she/he will also be responsible for in the subsequent report.
The report will be graded (fail, pass or excellent), which can award between 0.5 (pass) and 1.0 (excellent) bonus points.
Type of exams
- Shiraev, E., & Levy, D., Cross-cultural psychology. Critical thinking and contemporary applications (6th ed), Boston: Allyn and Bacon.