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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Psychology (PSYCH)

PSYCH 232 (GS;US;IL) Cross-Cultural Psychology (3) This course examines how ethnic and cultural background influences patterns of human thought and behavior.

PSYCH 232 Cross-Cultural Psychology (3)
(GS;US;IL)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

Cross-cultural psychology investigates the influence of sociocultural factors on human thought and behavior. It will revisit the topics covered in introductory psychology in order to investigate the degree to which the major findings in each subdiscipline are culturally universal and/or culturally specific. The course will reflect the interdisciplinary nature of cross-cultural psychology by examining issues that link psychology to other fields such as anthropology, sociology, economics, and political science. One goal of the course will be to develop an understanding of the problems involved in the design and interpretation of studies comparing ethnic or racial groups, both within and across national boundaries. Students will learn to identify how subtle forms of ethnocentric bias influence both the research questions asked and the conclusions that are reached and will learn ways to identify and avoid such bias. Students will learn to analyze and integrate knowledge from a variety of sources including films, readings, scientific literature and the popular media. Course projects will require them to interact in a respectful and sensitive manner with people of other cultures in person and via the Internet. Students will learn to critically examine their own beliefs as well as the information that they encounter about culture and ethnicity inside and outside of the classroom. They will enhance their oral and written communication skills during class discussions, small group and collaborative exercises and presentations. Topics are covered that have a significant body of cross-cultural research and are directly relevant to students' lives, including issues such as: child-rearing practices around the world, culture-fair intelligence testing, aggression and ethnic conflict, and cultural influences on therapeutic success. By studying psychology from a cross-cultural perspective, students should become more aware of the diversity of the international community and develop an increased understanding and tolerance of attitudes and viewpoints different from their own. Evaluation is conducted using integrative essay exams, completion of readings quizzes, and papers and presentations of case studies and learning activities. The course fulfills general education requirements in the social and behavioral sciences and requirements for intercultural/international competence.


General Education: GS
Diversity: US;IL
Bachelor of Arts: Other Cultures and Social and Behavioral Sciences
Effective: Spring 2007
Prerequisite: PSYCH 100

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.