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Psychology 441

Seminar in Cross-Cultural Psychology

Cross-Cultural Psychology

Spring Quarter, 2011

Academic Instructional West 408

Monday, Wednesday, Friday – 2:30 to 3:50 PM

Instructors -- Joseph E. Trimble, PhD, Distinguished University Professor, Professor of Psychology

Offices and Contact Information -- AIC 594 - Email – Joseph.Trimble@wwu.edu - Telephone – 360.650.3058. Office hours will be discussed in class and posted on my office door.

Readings -- Selected readings collected from journal articles and book chapters are listed below under each of the topic areas. I will email you copies of all of the articles except those that you can access directly through the web address. Many of the readings come from The Online Readings in Psychology and Culture (ORPC) series. ORPC is designed to serve as a resource for researchers, teachers, students, and anyone who is interested in the interrelationships between psychology and culture. As part of the IACCP, the publication is a free resource. Cross-Cultural PsychologyCross-Cultural Explorations

Required Textbooks -- (available in the Western Associated Students Bookstore or through an Internet book seller such as Amazon.com).

-- Shiraev, E. & Levy, D. (2010) Cross Cultural Psychology: Critical Thinking and
Contemporary Applications, Fourth Edition.New York: Allyn & Bacon.

Prerequisites – C- or better in Psychology 210-250, 303, and one from 342 – 344 or equivalent courses in other departments


Course Theme

Cross-cultural psychology is the comparative study of cultural effects on human psychology. It examines psychological diversity and the links between cultural norms and behavior. It also examines the ways in which particular human activities are influenced by social and cultural forces. Furthermore, cross-cultural psychology primarily uses the comparative method to establish psychological concepts, principles, and hypotheses. The purpose of the seminar is to introduce the field of cross-cultural psychology and its contemporary applications.  Through discussions and readings students can expect to develop a broader, global perception of contemporary psychology. Activities are intended to explain current psychological knowledge and its applications from a cross-cultural perspective. Additionally, the seminar will assist in developing a useful set of critical-thinking tools with which to analyze and evaluate psychology from various, ethnic, national, and religious groups.

Selected Seminar Theme Quotations

“The Western conception of the person as a bounded, unique, more or less integrated motivational and cognitive universe, a dynamic center of awareness, emotion, judgment, and action, organized into a distinctive whole and set contrastively -- both against other such wholes and against social and natural background -- is however incorrigible it may seem to us, a rather peculiar idea within the context of the world's cultures.” (Clifford Geertz, 1973, p. 34).

“Never look for a psychological explanation unless every effort to find a cultural one has been exhausted” (Margaret Mead, 1959, p. 16).

“Malinowski was most insistent that every culture beunderstood in its own terms, that every institution be seenas a product of the culture within which it developed. Itfollows from this that a cross-cultural comparison ofinstitutions is essentially a false enterprise, for we are comparing incomparables” (Walter Goldschmidt, 1966, p. 8).

“This was my first night in Lesu alone. As I sat on the veranda of my thatched-roofed, two-room house in the early evening I felt uncertain and scared not of anything in particular, but just of being alone in a native village. I asked myself, ‘What on earth am I doing here, all alone and at the edge of the world?’”  (Hortense Powdermaker (1966, p. 51).

“What sets worlds in motion is the interplay of differences, their attractions and repulsions. Life is plurality, death is uniformity. By suppressing differences and peculiarities, by eliminating different civilizations and cultures, progress weakens life and favors death. The ideal of a single civilization for everyone, implicit in the cult of progress and technique, impoverishes and mutilates us. Every view of the world that becomes extinct, every culture that disappears, diminishes a possibility of life” (Octavio Paz, 1978)

Student and Course Learning Objectives

Upon successfully completing the course students will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding

1).   Identify and describe the major components and principles of multicultural competence, awareness, knowledge, skills, and values.

2).   Discuss alternative conceptions of cultural, ethnic, and cultural psychology and the role played by different academic disciplines in describing and researching an individual’s behavior, world view, attitudes, and values.

3).   Recognize and describe how cross-cultural psychology theories explain the influence of the human condition at universal and cultural-specific levels.

4).   Identify the role of race, ethnicity, cultural heritage, nationality, socioeconomic status, family structure, age, gender, sexual orientation, religious and spiritual beliefs, occupation, physical and mental status, and related social justice issues in educational and psychological practices.

5).   Describe and illustrate some of the psychological implications of cultural differences and of contact among members of different cultures, and to consider the role which psychological research and theory can play in advancing intercultural understanding.


6).   Analyze and critique scientific research articles that describe and present research findings on cross-cultural topics.

7).   Demonstrate an understanding of how well Western psychological principles and research hold up in other cultures.

8).   Conduct an extensive literature review exploring selected characteristics, qualities, or peculiarities associated with a chosen topic in the field of cross-cultural psychology.


9).   Reflect and write about multiculturalism as it relates to your personal life's experiences.

10).   Demonstrate increased cultural awareness and sensitivity which includes subjective and objective perceptions of ethnic groups and the role culture plays in human and social behavior.

11).   Identify and challenge traditional psychological theories limited to North American Euro-centric cultural lifeways and thoughtways.


Student Evaluation

In addition to attending seminar sessions regularly and doing the reading, the course requires you to work through selected exploratory activities and present the findings to the class when appropriate, be responsible for leading discussions during selected class periods (may involve doing additional readings), and submit assignments and project reports at the end of the quarter.

Seminar Projects

Final Written Paper. For the final written assignment, select one of the exercises and prepare and submit a term paper: 4.2. on page 117; 5.3 on page 146;   6.2. on page 168; 8.1. on page 218; 9.1. on page  251; 10.3. on page 275; 11.1. on page 295; or 12.1 on page 308. Your term paper is graded according to the following general criteria:
Format: 2,000 words or more, double-spaced.
Style: Make an introduction, complete with a relevant literature review, in which you describe briefly the goal of your paper. Generalize your thoughts in a conclusion. Break up you paper in several paragraphs. Each paragraph should represent a particular idea, explanation, or description (see the Rubric for a literature review).
Validity: You have to use facts to support your ideas and suggestions.
The assignment should contain references following the APA style manual and format. You are welcome to suggest a topic for your original term paper. Talk with me to confirm your choice.

Article Presentation. Select an article of interest from one of the following journals: Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology; Ethos; Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology; Culture and Psychology; International Journal of Intercultural Relations; International Psychology; Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry; Transcultural Psychiatry; Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development; Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation, and Culture; or the American Journal of Community Psychology and orally present to the seminar a summary of the research report. The presentation should coincide with the unit we’re discussing at the time.

Design a Research Project. You will need to think about a cultural difference or potential cultural difference you are curious about. Consider this difference. Explain to the reader what this difference is. Explain to the reader why this difference is important or theoretically interesting (This is an extremely important step). And then tell the reader about a study that would examine this difference in a compelling and interesting way. The study should be an experiment in which some variable is manipulated. You do not need to actually conduct the study. You only need to outline it in enough detail so that you can show the reader that the study will convincingly demonstrate what you want to show. Note: you should have an appropriate number of references (other than the textbook). But this paper is not a report of other people’s research (you will read enough of that for the seminar). Rather, this is a paper describing a phenomenon you want to examine, describing why this phenomenon is theoretically interesting, and then describing a compelling way your idea can be tested.

Response Journal. On Mondays you submit a record of your responses including your feelings, thoughts, reactions, and observations with respect to class discussions, readings, assigned activities, or relevant experiences outside the course. You may examine the effect of course material on your assumptions and knowledge about the role of culture or your everyday interactions with others from a different culture/religion/socio-economic group. Papers should be 3-5 pages in length double-spaced

Psychology in a Foreign Country. In this project, you are required to submit a paper describing the discipline of psychology in one foreign country. Finding material on this topic will not always be easy. However, your report must be based upon at least two sources. Your report should clearly provide the reader with a good overview of the discipline of psychology in your chosen country. In your report you should attempt to address the following topics:1). A brief history of the discipline in that country; 2). The degree to which psychology has been imported from other countries; 3). The relative importance of scientific or academic research and applied psychology; 4). The status of psychology as a profession; 5). The level and type of training necessary to become a professional psychologist; 6). The major theoretical orientation(s) and whether if any one theoretical orientation dominates; 7). Major research trends or focuses; and
8). Professional organizations and codes of ethics.
Although there are a number of books that focus on psychology in a specific foreign country, two excellent resources are: 1). The Annual Review of Psychology. Periodically, this annually published edited volume includes articles that describe the discipline of psychology in a particular foreign country. These reviews include issues related to research emphases, training and education, and the application of psychology; 2). Although somewhat dated, Stevens, M. J., & Wedding, D. (Eds.). (2004). The handbook of international psychology. New York: Brunner-Routledge,
provides a rich source of information on aspects of the discipline of psychology in a wide variety of foreign countries.


Grades will be based mainly on the conduct and quality of the activities, the mid-term written assignment, the final paper, and research design and presentation submitted at the end of the term, with greater emphasis on the latter. I will also factor in what I learn about your knowledge of cross-cultural psychology concepts and methods from discussions in class and observations of your work on the exploratory activities.

Submission of Work

Submit electronic copies of all your written work to my email address. However, I will accept written assignments in hard copy form if necessary. I tend to use Turnitin to evaluate all submitted papers and assignments (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turnitin).

Extensions and Incompletes

No extensions are permitted on the journals, papers, and exploratory activities. Extensions for the final research paper must be requested in advance and will be granted with reluctance. I strongly discourage you from taking incomplete grades in this course; as a rule, taking incompletes will delay your progress through your undergraduate studies. While I realize that one may produce a better research report by taking more time to, it is usually preferable to produce a draft within the given time-frame, get commentary, and improve the work later through revision.

            In summary, student performance in the seminar and achievement of the student learning outcomes will be evaluated using the following criteria:


            In addition, by the end of the quarter, seminar participants must complete a portfolio containing:

1).  Final Written Paper – 70 points. Due on June 8th by 5:00PM.
2). Article Presentation – 30 points. Assigned time.
3). Design a Research Project 40 points. Due on May 25th.
4).  Psychology in a Foreign Country – 50 Points. Due on May 4th.
5). Response Journal (each worth 8 points) – 80 points. Due on Mondays.
6). Activities in Cross-Cultural Psychology – 70 points. Due on the Fridays following the end of a unit where the Activity is assigned.
7). Classroom participation in discussion of the readings and topics – 10 points.

Point distributions vary according to the criteria described in detail in the various assessment rubrics prepared for the seminar; they will be distributed in class.

            Final letter grades will be based on one’s total point accumulation at the end of the quarter. The point distribution is as follows:

A =      315 - 350
B =      280 - 314
C =      245 - 279
D =      210 – 244
F =      209 and less

            Each paper and activity will be evaluated on several dimensions including the substantive and the mechanical (see Rubrics). The substantive dimension includes such features as writing style, evidence of considerable work expended, clarity, and ease of reading. The mechanical dimension includes such things as spelling, grammar, and proper sentence structure. Guidelines and criteria for both dimensions are available for student review and use. Students are required to follow the style guidelines of the American Psychological Association (APA) for every writing assignment. A guide for the APA style is available at - http://www.psywww.com/resource/apacrib.htm. Late papers will not be accepted.

Schedule of Seminar Activities

The following outline contains the general topics and approximate time allotted for discussion and review of assigned readings. At times, it’s possible that guest lecturers will be invited to the seminar to present and discuss relevant and appropriate material intended to supplement seminar activities. Additionally, PowerPoint presentations will be used to complement discussions. The seminar is organized around 10 basic units and corresponding parts or sub-units. Assigned and recommended readings are listed for each section. Students should familiarize themselves with the outline and the weekly activities, read the material in advance, and be fully prepared to discuss the readings during the seminar as well as record summaries and observations in your journal paper.

Course Organization




Understanding Cross-Cultural Psychology. What is cross-cultural psychology? Basic definitions: Culture, cultural psychology, race, nationality, and ethnicity. Empirical examination of culture. Power distance, masculinity, and uncertainty avoidance. Collectivism and individualism. Different views on cross-cultural psychology. Evolutionary approach. Sociological approach. Ecocultural approach. The Cultural Mixtures approach: A new cross-cultural psychology in the 21st century. The Integrative approach. Indigenous psychology. Ethnocentrism.  Multiculturalism. A brief history of cross-cultural psychology.

Required readings:

- Shiraev & Levy – Chapter 1, pp. 1-26.

- Trimble, J. E. (2007). Prolegomena for the connotation of construct use in the measurement of ethnic and racial identity. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 54(3), 247-258.

- Trimble, J. E. & Dickson, R. (2005). Ethnic gloss. In C. B. Fisher & Lerner, R. M. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of applied developmental science, (pp. 412-415) (Volume I). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Recommended readings:

- Phinney, J. (1996). When we talk about American ethnic groups, what do we mean? American Psychologist, 51(9), 918-927.

- Fons J. R. van de Vijver. Types of cross-cultural studies in cross-cultural psychology. (http://www.wwu.edu/culture/vandeVijver.htm)

- Peter B. Smith. Levels of analysis in cross-cultural psychology.

- James Jones. Toward a cultural psychology of African Americans.

- Multiculturalism Brings Communities Together

- Students, Teachers Need To Be Trans-culturally Literate, Expert Says



Methodology of Cross-Cultural Research. Goals of cross-cultural research. Quantitative research in cross-cultural psychology. Looking for linkages and differences. Qualitative approach in cross cultural psychology. Major steps for preparation of a cross-cultural study. Sample selection. Observation in cross-cultural psychology. Survey methods. Experimental studies. Content Analysis. Focus-group methodology. Meta Analysis: Research of research. A hidden obstacle of cross-cultural studies: Test translation. Comparing two phenomena: Some important principles. On similarities and differences: Some critical thinking applications. Cultural dichotomies: There are fewer/more differences than one might think. Avoiding bias of generalizations. Know more about cultures you examine!

Required readings:

- Shiraev & Levy – Chapter 2, pp. 27-52.

- Trimble, J. E. (2010). Cultural measurement equivalence. In C. S.
 Clauss-Ehlers (Ed.), Encyclopedia of cross-cultural school psychology (pp. 316-318). New York: Springer.

- Van de Vijver, F.J.R. & Leung, K. (2000). Methodological issues in psychological research on culture. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 31, 33-51.

- Jones, D. (2010, June). A WEIRD View of Human Nature Skews Psychologists’ Studies. Science, 328(25), 1627.

- Berry, J.W. (1989). Imposed etics –  emics – derived etics: The operationalisation of a compelling idea. International Journal of Psychology, 24, 721-735.

Recommended readings:

- Beiser, M. (2003). Why should researchers care about culture? Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Special Issue: Transcultural Psychiatry, 48, 154-160.

- Sue, S. (1999). Science, ethnicity, and bias: Where have we gone wrong? American Psychologist, 54, 1070-1077.

- Trimble, J. E., Scharron-del Rio, M. & Bernal. G. (2010).The itinerant researcher: Ethical and methodological issues in conducting cross-cultural mental health research. In D. C. Jack & A. Ali (Eds.), Cultural perspectives on women’s depression: Self-silencing, psychological distress and recovery (pp. 73-95). New York: Oxford.

- Henrich, J., Heine, S. J., & Norenzayan, A. (2010). The weirdest people in the world? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33, 61-135.

- Don’t Flatter Yourself: Why Survey Research Can be Flawed

Activity: Cultural Metaphors* Due on April 8th.



Critical Thinking in Cross-Cultural Psychology. The Evaluative Bias of Language: To describe is to prescribe. Differentiating Dichotomous Variables and Continuous Variables: Black and white, or shades of gray? The Similarity-Uniqueness Paradox: All phenomena are both similar and different. The Barnum Effect: “One Size-Fits-All” descriptions. The Assimilation Bias: Viewing the world through schema-colored glasses. The Representativeness Bias: Fits and misfits of categorization. The Availability Bias: The persuasive power of vivid events. The Fundamental Attribution Error: Underestimating the impact of external influences. The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: When expectations create reality. Correlation Does Not Prove Causation: Confusing “what” with “why.”  Bi-Directional Causation and Multiple Causation: Causal loops and compound pathways. The Naturalistic Fallacy: Blurring the line between “is” and “should”. The Belief Perseverance Effect: “Don’t confuse me with the facts!”  “To metathink or not to metathink?”

Required readings:

- Shiraev & Levy – Chapter 3, pp. 53-92.

- Trimble, J. (2003). Cultural competence and cultural sensitivity. In M. Prinstein & M. Patterson, (Eds.) The portable mentor: Expert guide to a successful career in psychology (pp. 13-32). NY: Kluwer Academic/Plenum.

- C. Dominik Güss. Decision making in individualistic and collectivistic cultures. (http://www.wwu.edu/culture/Guss2.htm)

Recommended readings:   

- No Such Thing As Ethnic Groups, Genetically Speaking, Researchers Say

- Knowledge of core subjects increasing, but so is belief in pseudoscience

Activity: Interdependent and Dependent Selves* Due on April 15th.


Cognition: Sensation and Perception. States of Consciousness. Sensation and perception: Basic principles. Sensation and the brain: Basic universal pathways. How culture influences what we perceive. How people perceive depictions.  How do people scan pictures? Perception of depth. Are people equally misled by visual illusions? Some cultural patterns of drawing pictures. Perception of color.  Other senses.  Perception of time.  Perception of the beautiful.  Perception of music.  Consciousness and culture. Sleep and cultural significance of dreams. Beyond Altered States of Consciousness.

Required readings:

- Shiraev & Levy – Chapter 4, pp. 93-119.

- Ward, C. (1994). Culture and altered states of consciousness. In W. J. Lonner, & R. S. Malpass (Eds.), Psychology and culture (pp. 59-64). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Recommended readings:   

- What She Sees In You: Facial Attractiveness Explained

- Selflessness -- Core Of All Major World Religions -- Has Neuropsychological Connection

Activity: Altered States of Consciousness* Due on April 22nd.


Intelligence. Defining intelligence. Ethnic differences in IQ scores. Explaining group differences in test scores: Intelligence and intelligent behavior. Do biological factors contribute to intelligence? Incompatibility of tests: Cultural biases. A word about “cultural literacy”. Environment and intelligence. Socioeconomic factors. The family factor. ‘Natural selection’ and IQ scores? Cultural values of cognition. General Cognition: What is ‘underneath’ intelligence? Cognitive skills, school grades, and educational systems. Culture, tests, and motivation. IQ, culture, and social justice. And in the end, moral values. 

Required readings:

- Shiraev & Levy – Chapter 5, pp. 120-149.

- Robert J. Sternberg. Cultural explorations of human intelligence around the world. (http://www.wwu.edu/culture/Sternberg.htm)

Recommended readings:   

- Elias Mpofu. Indigenization of the psychology of human intelligence in Sub-Saharan Africa. Saharan Africa.

- Living Outside The Box: New Evidence Shows Going Abroad Linked To Creativity

- Research Examines Coping Strategies Of African-American Students In Predominantly White Schools

- Language Driven By Culture, Not Biology, Study Shows



Emotion and Motivation. When we laugh we are happy: Similarities of emotional experience.  You cannot explain pain if you have never been hurt: Differences in emotional experience. Emotions: Different or universal?  Physiological Arousal. The meaning of preceding events.  Emotion as an evaluation. We are expected to feel in a particular way. How people assess emotional experience.  When emotions signal a challenge: Cross-cultural research on stress. Expression of emotion.  When emotion hurts: Cross-cultural studies of anger. Emotion and inclination to act. Emotion and judgment. A glance into evolution. Social science: See the society first. Drive and arousal: Two universal mechanisms of motivation. The power of the unconscious: Psychoanalysis. Humanistic theories. Learning and motivation: Cognitive theories. A carrot and a beef tongue: Hunger and food preference. When hunger causes distress: Eating Disorders. Victory and harmony: Achievement motivation. Aggressive motivation and violence.  Culture and sexuality. Sexual and Gender Identity disorders.  Sex and sexuality: Some cross-cultural similarities.

Required readings:

- Shiraev & Levy – Chapter 6, pp. 150-171.

- Hupka, R. B., Zalenski, Z., Otto, J., Reidl, L., & Tarabrina, N. V. (1997). The colors of anger, envy, fear, and jealousy: A cross-cultural study. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 28, 156-171.

- Elfenbein, H. A. & Ambady, N. (2002). On the universality and cultural specificity of emotion recognition: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 128(2), 203-235.

Recommended readings:   

- How We Feel Linked To Both Our Culture And How We Behave

- Facial Expressions Show Language Barriers, Too

- Kobayashi, F., Schallert, D. S., & Ogren, H. A. (2003). Japanese and American Folk vocabularies for emotions. Journal of Social Psychology, 14 (4), 451-478.

- Inkiha, F. (1995). Shame in Asian and Western cultures. American Behavioral Scientist, 38(8), 1114-1131.

Activity: Communicating Humor* Due on May 6th.


Human Development and Socialization. Development and socialization: Definitions. Quality of life and the child’s development. Norms, customs, and child-care. Parental values and expectations. Erik H. Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development. Jean Piaget: Stages of cognitive development. Stages of moral development according to Kohlberg.  Developmental stages. Life before birth: Prenatal period.  First steps: Infancy. Discovering the world: Childhood.  Major rehearsals: Adolescence. Adulthood. Late Adulthood. Other topics discussed in class. Video materials. 

Required readings:

- Shiraev & Levy – Chapter 7, pp. 172-194.

- Trimble, J. E. & Dickson, R. (2005). Ethnic identity. In C. B. Fisher & Lerner, R. M. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of applied developmental science, (pp. 415-420) (Volume I). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

- Heidi Keller. Culture and development: Developmental pathways to individualism and interrelatedness. (http://www.wwu.edu/culture/keller.htm)

- Frank Eyetsemitan. Life-span developmental psychology: Midlife and later years in Western and Non-Western societies.

- Cigdem Kagitcibasi. A model of family change in cultural context.

Recommended readings:   

- Beatrice Medicine. Directions in gender research in American Indian societies: Two spirits and other categories.

- Children As Young As 19 Months Understand Different Dialects

- Are Men Hardwired To Overspend?

Activity: Culture and Gender Roles* Due on May 13th.


Psychological Disorders. American background: DSM-IV. Two views on culture and psychopathology. Culture-Bound Syndromes. Central and peripheral symptoms. Anxiety disorders. Schizophrenia. Depressive Disorders. Culture and suicide. Personality Disorders.  Substance abuse. Psychodiagnostic biases. Psychotherapy. Culture match.

Required readings:

- Shiraev & Levy – Chapter 8, pp. 195-220.

- Hopper, K. and Wanderling, J. (2000). Revisiting the developed vs. developing country distinction in course and outcome in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 26, 835-846.

- Manson, S. M. (1997). Ethnographic Methods, Cultural Context, and Mental Illness: Bridging Different Ways of Knowing and Experience. Ethos, 25, 249-258.

Recommended readings:   

- Andrew G. Ryder, Jian Yang, and Steven J. Heine. Somatization vs. psychologization of emotional distress: A paradigmatic example for cultural psychopathology.

- Kohort, B. A., Kunz, R. D., Baldwin, J. L., Koirala, N. R., Sharma, V. D., & Nepal, M. K. (2005). Somatization and comorbidity: A study of Jhum-Jhum and depression in rural Nepal. Ethos, 33, 125-147.

- Trimble. J. E. (2010). Bear spends time in our dreams now: Magical thinking and cultural empathy in multicultural counselling theory and practice. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 23(3), 241-253.

- Strict Societies May Foster Violent Drinking Cultures

- Deathways Open Doors To Unexpected Cultural Practices

- Parket, G., & Gladstone, G., & Chee, K. T. (2001). Depression in the
planet's largest ethnic group: The Chinese. American Journal of
Psychiatry, 158(6), 857-862.

Activity: Magical Thinking* Due on May 20th.


Social Perception, Social Cognition, and Social Interaction. Values.  Western and non-Western values. Striving for consistency: The Cognitive Balance theory. Avoiding inconsistency: Cognitive dissonance. Prejudice: Is it inevitable? Stereotypes in daily life Psychological Dogmatism. Social Attribution. Attribution as locus of control. Explaining the behavior of others. Attribution of success and failure. Self-Perception.  Do social norms affect the way we see our own body weight?  Duty and fairness in individualist and collectivist cultures. Stereotypes and the power of generalizations. Social Interaction: Basic definitions and Concepts. Universal interaction: roles, norms, and territorial behavior. Direct contacts and communication. Conformity. Is conformity universal across cultures?  Following orders: Obedience. Social Influence. Compliance.  Feeling good about some views. Groupthink. Is social loafing universal?  Cooperation and Competition. Leaders: Born or bred? Leadership styles.

Required readings:

- Shiraev & Levy – Chapters 9, 10, 11 pp. 221-298.

- Markus, H.R., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion and motivation. Psychological Review, 98, 224-253.

- Harry C. Triandis. Subjective culture.

Recommended readings:   

- How Adolescent Girls Manage Stress

- John Adamopoulos. The perception of interpersonal behaviors across cultures. (http://www.wwu.edu/culture/adamopoulos.htm)

- Tara West and Sheri R. Levy. Background belief systems and prejudice.

- Researchers Discover Ways Of Integrating Treatment Of Traumatized Tibetan Refugee Monks

- Family Obligation In Chinese Homes Lowers Teenage Depression Symptoms

Activity: Search for Individualism and Collectivism* Due on May 27th.



Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology: Some Highlights. Medical decisions and counseling decisions. Cross-cultural psychology and business decisions. Working with immigrants. Acculturative stress. Education. Culture, behavior, and the law. Working and serving abroad. Multiculturalism and religion.

Required readings:

- Shiraev & Levy – Chapter 12, pp. 299-321.

- Nan M. Sussman. Sojourners to another country: The psychological roller-coaster of cultural transitions. (http://www.wwu.edu/culture/sussman.htm)

Recommended readings:   

- World's Most Innovative Nations

- Psyched Out By Stereotypes: Research Suggests Thinking About The Positive

- Race Has Little Effect On People's Ability To Spot Family Resemblances

- Ein, Zwei, Molson Dry? Researcher Says Hand Gesturing To Count In Foreign Countries Can Be Tricky

- Urbanization: 95% Of The World's Population Lives On 10% Of The Land

Activity Credit

I want to acknowledged the assistance of Susan Goldstein for use
of the activities from her book, Cross-cultural explorations: Activities in culture and
psychology (Pearson Education, Boston, MA, 2008). The activities are provided with
written permission from Pearson Education, Inc.

Class Schedule Note

Psychfest will be held on the last Friday of the spring quarter (June 3rd) hence there will be no class that day. Plan to attend the Psychfest.

Note:   Student interest may necessitate spending more or less time on certain topics thus requiring a rearrangement of the topics or time schedules presented above.

A Professor's Manifesto

Here is what I expect from students: You will treat everyone in the class, including the professor, with the respect due to all human beings. You will attend every class, give your full attention to the material, and conduct yourself in an appropriate manner. You will agree to do the work outlined in the syllabus on time. You will acknowledge that previous academic preparation (e.g., writing skills) will affect your performance in this course. You will acknowledge that your perception of effort, by itself, is not enough to justify a distinguished grade. You will not plagiarize or otherwise steal the work of others. You will not make excuses for your failure to do what you ought. You will accept the consequences of your actions.

Here is what students can expect from me: I will treat you with the respect due all human beings. I will know your name and treat you as an individual. I will not discriminate against you because of your identity or your well-informed viewpoints. I will manage the class in a professional manner; that may include educating you in appropriate behavior. I will prepare carefully for every class. I will begin and end class on time. I will teach only in areas of my professional expertise. If I do not know something, I will say so. I will conduct scholarly research and publication with the aim of making myself a more informed teacher. I will return your assignments quickly with detailed feedback. I will pursue the maximum punishment for plagiarism, cheating, and other violations of academic integrity. I will keep careful records of your attendance, performance, and progress. If I am absent from class for personal or professional reasons, I will make every effort to find a qualified colleague who will be willing to teach and supervise the topic for discussion and review. I will investigate every excuse for nonattendance of classes and non-completion of assignments. I will make myself available to you for advising. I will maintain confidentiality concerning your performance. I will provide you with professional support and write recommendations for you if appropriate. I will be honest with you. Your grade will reflect the quality of your work and nothing else. I am interested in your feedback about the class, but I am most interested in what you learned. (I express my gratitude to a Thomas H. Benton - a pseudonym - for providing the essential information described in the "Manifesto." The original article can be found in the Chronicle of Higher Education, June 9, 2006).


-- Geertz, C. (1973). The interpretation of cultures: Selected essays. New York, NY: Basic Books.
-- Goldschmidt, W. (1966). Comparative functionalism. Berkeley: University of
-- Mead, M. (1959). An anthropologist at work: Writings of Ruth Benedict. Boston:
-- Powdermaker, H. (1966). Stranger and friend: The way of the anthropologist. New York: Norton.


I want to extend my gratitude to those who kindly and generously provided me with suggestions and materials for the seminar to include: Eric B. Shiraev, George Mason University; David Levy, Pepperdine University; Susan Goldstein, The University of Redlands; G. William Hill, IV, Kennesaw State University; Linh Nguyen Littleford, Ball State University; Vaishali Raval, Miami University; William K. Gabrenya, Florida Institute of Technology; materials provided by the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology and the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, Division 2 of the American Psychological Association