Cultural Psychology reviews the cultural, community, and ecological factors that play a role in how people perceive their environment. It is the integration of the nature and nurture phenomenas, whereby an individual’s psyche is determined, or at least influenced, by both that individual’s culture and those other cultures to which the individual is exposed.
Cultural Psychology reviews the cultural, community, and ecological factors that play a role in how people perceive their environment. It is the integration of the nature and nurture phenomenas, whereby an individual’s psyche is determined, or at least influenced, by both that individual’s culture and those other cultures to which the individual is exposed. This may include many layers and levels, such as those discussed by Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, including the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem. For example: On a small scale, it is easy to see how an individual living in New York City would encounter different psychosocial stressors than a person living on a farm in Iowa might. On a much larger scale, a person living in the United States may differ greatly, in cultural terms, from an individual living in China. It may be easy to tell that two cultures are different from one another, but identifying exactly what we mean—and all that is encompassed—when we speak about “culture” can be much more difficult. Culture can include everything from ancient religion, gender constructs, race/ethnicity, and regional differences, to the effect of new technologies or artistic movements. All of these aspects of culture can affect an individual’s psychology. It is salient to note that culture differs from individual to individual, because two people growing up in the same type of environment may internalize situations and environmental factors differently based upon their own makeup and past experiences of which they use to filter the new experiences. It is important to note that cultural psychology is a relatively new field of psychology and, as such, many questions in the field remain unanswered. And since psychology has largely developed out of a Western philosophical tradition, the information in the field is mostly from a Western (Western European and North American) cultural standpoint. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders had begun to address this through culture-bound syndromes, although many of the other disorders have yet to address some cultural differences in the means in which a person may present with them or other cultural considerations. For example, hearing the voice of a person who has passed away may be considered a normal part of bereavement for some persons of Native American or Latino cultures, while other people may view it as abnormal and seek to label the patient/client as having depression with psychotic features or the like. The goal of this course is to investigate the ways in which culture can affect aspects of that individual’s psychology. We begin by reviewing the history and major theories of cultural psychology before moving on to a more in-depth examination of culture and its relationship to cognition, intelligence, emotion, motivation, and behavior. We end the course with a discussion of how human development and psychological disorders are affected by culture.
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
Identify current trends in contemporary cultural psychology and compare and contrast these concepts with historical and empirical psychological theory.
Compare and contrast variations in cognitive processes and expectations amongst cultures.
Describe the difference between measuring and quantifying intelligence within different cultural groups, including culturally normed assessment tools.
Explain the study of intercultural relations and communication.
Demonstrate an awareness of theories of cultural differences in affective expression, including both culture-specific and universal concepts.
List factors of motivation and cultural implications.
Identify the stages of human development, including racial and ethnicity-specific developmental theories with a focus on comparing and contrasting individualistic and collectivistic themes.
List the criteria for various psychological disorders, including cultural adaptations and culture-bound syndromes.
More info: http://www.saylor.org/courses/psych403/