Maricopa Community Colleges  PSY132

Official Course Description: MCCCD Approval: 12-9-1997

PSY132  1999 Fall – 2001 Fall

LEC  3.0 Credit(s)  3.0 Period(s)  3.0 Load  Acad

Psychology and Culture

Presents current knowledge about human diversity in behavior and culture using examples from a variety of contexts and nations. Highlights topics in cross-cultural psychology, such as intergroup relations, ethnocentrism, gender, personality, emotion, language, communication, work and health. Emphasis on applications of behavioral and cognitive principles to enhance interactions in a multicultural world.

Prerequisites: None.


Course Attribute(s):

General Education Designation: Global Awareness - [G]

General Education Designation: Social and Behavioral Sciences - [SB]

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MCCCD Official Course Competencies:


PSY132  1999 Fall – 2001 Fall

Psychology and Culture



Describe the limitations of current knowledge about human behavior in western psychology and the advantages of adding cross-cultural information to psychology. (I)


Define culture and contrast culture with race and ethnicity. (II)


Discuss cultural influences on concepts of self and personality. (III)


Identify cultural influences on research methods, including the influential biases researchers and research participants bring to the research process. (IV)


Describe cultural differences and similarities in cognitive, moral, and socioemotional development. (V)


Describe cultural differences in work values and related intercultural conflicts in organizations. (VI)


Describe the contributions of basic psychological processes to intergroup relations, ethnocentrism and stereotyping. (VII)


Describe how the processes of categorization, memory, selective attention, and attributional bias affect the development and maintenance of ethnocentric attitudes and stereotypes. (VIII)


Describe cross-cultural research on basic psychological processes, including perception, cognition, and intelligence. (IX)


Define sex, gender, sex roles, and gender roles. (X)


Describe cultural differences in gender and the universality of gender-specific behavior patterns across cultures. (X)


Discuss cultural influences on physical and mental health including difference in dealing with illnesses. (XI)


Compare cultural and cross-national differences in health care delivery systems. (XI)


Compare cultural similarities and differences in human emotion. (XII)


Discuss cultural influences on the process of communication and language . (XIII) (XIV)


List and analyze guidelines for interaction with diverse cultures in a multicultural world. (XV)

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MCCCD Official Course Outline:


PSY132  1999 Fall – 2001 Fall

Psychology and Culture


I. The Cross-Cultural Approach

A. When psychology and culture meet: an introduction to cross-cultural psychology

B. The nature of knowledge in science

C. Limitations of western psychology

D. Gaining a global perspective

II. Understanding Culture

A. Definition of culture, race and ethnicity

B. Pancultural principles versus culture-specific differences: Emics and Etics

C. Introduction to ethnocentrism and stereotypes

D. A dimensional approach to understanding cultures

III. Culture, Self, and Personality

A. Culture and concepts of self

B. Culture and personality traits

C. Culture and indigenous personalities

IV. Cross-cultural research methods

A. Issues in the conduct of studies across cultures

B. The nature of truth in science and the importance of research

C. The parameters and conditions of research

D. Special issues in cross-cultural research

V. Enculturation, Socialization and Development

A. Cultural similarities and differences in cognitive development

B. Other theories of cognitive development

C. Moral reasoning

D. Socioemotional development

VI. Cultural Influences on Organizations and the World of Work

A. Cultural similarities and differences in the meaning of work

B. Organizations and culture

C. Cultural differences in work related values

1. Motivation and productivity

2. Leadership and management styles

D. Intercultural conflicts in business and work

VII. Culture and Intergroup Relations

A. Cultural and psychological influences on ethnocentrism and stereotypes

B. Person perception and impression formation

C. The contribution of other basic psychological processes

D. Culture and ethnocentrism

VIII. Culture and Social Behavior

A. Cultural differences in intergroup behavior

B. Cultural differences in our interpretations of the world around us: cross cultural research on attributions

C. Interpersonal attraction: love, intimacy and intercultural marriages

D. Cultural differences in conformity, compliance and obedience to groups

IX. Culture & Basic Psychological Processes

A. Culture and perception

B. Culture and cognition

C. Intelligence: definitions and concepts

X. Culture and Gender

A. Cultural similarities and differences in gender roles

B. The history of studying sex and gender in relation to culture

C. The influence of culture on gender

D. Cultural similarities and differences in ascribed gender roles and stereotypes

E. Other psychological gender differences across cultures

F. Ethnicity and gender

XI. Culture and Health

A. Sociocultural influences and health care delivery

B. Cultural differences in the definition of health

C. Sociocultural influences on physical health and medical disease processes

D. Sociocultural influences on psychological disorders and abnormal behaviors

E. Cultural differences in dealing with illness

XII. The Diversity of Human Emotion

A. Emotions from a mainstream American perspective

B. The concept of emotions from a cross-cultural perspective

C. Cultural similarities and differences in emotional expression

D. Cultural similarities and diversity in other aspects of emotion

XIII. Culture and Language

A. The relationship between culture, language and worldview

B. Culture and the structure of language

C. Traditional theories of language

D. Bilingualism

E. Language Acquisition

XIV. Culture and Communication

A. What are nonverbal behaviors?

B. Classifying nonverbal behaviors

C. Cultural differences in nonverbal behaviors

D. Cultural similarities and differences in the expression and experience of communication

XV. Conclusion

A. Guidelines to improve cross-cultural relationships

B. Challenges and cultural diversity

C. Human interaction in a pluralistic world: work, school and home


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