After finishing this course students can identify and comprehend the core epistemological and methodological questions in cross-cultural psychology. This means that they are capable of evaluating the quality of cultural comparative research, and taking a critical stance toward ‘traditional’ (‘mainstream’) psychological research. Students are also able to give explanations for cultural differences, and aware of the possibilities to apply cross-cultural insights.|
The aims of the course are reflected in the examinations. The written exam contains questions about the causes, meanings, and (practical) consequences of cultural differences. The students present an empirical paper, and critically comment upon a research presented by their peers. Finally, students write an individual paper in which they critically discuss empirical research addressing a cross-cultural psychological research questions.
Cross-cultural psychology examines what is basic about human nature and what emerges as different depending on people’s cultures. It critically evaluates the generality of knowledge from mainstream psychology and covers a wide range of topics. This course provides a thorough introduction to cross-cultural psychology by focussing on three central overlapping aspects within the discipline. First, we will explore basic epistemological and methodological questions. For instance, we will ask whether people from different cultures can be meaningfully compared, how such comparisons should be carried out, and how culture can be operationalized. From the student, this requires a basic knowledge of methodology and statistics. Second, we will consider several explanations for understanding (the impact of) cultural differences and evaluate the cross-cultural validity of mainstream psychology theories. In doing so, we will address a variety of topics, including child-rearing, self-perception, personality, and moral reasoning. Finally, we will study contacts between members of different cultures.
• Acquiring knowledge and insight
• Developing critical judgment
• Communicative skills (written and oral)