Cross-Cultural Psychology

Gail M. Ferguson
, Psychology Department, Knox College


This course is designed to explore the influences of culture on human development and behavior by examining select topics in psychology from a multicultural, multiethnic, and international perspective. Core topics include cross-cultural research methods, culture and self, culture and family/social relations, and acculturation.

Course Size:

Course Format:
Lecture only

Institution Type:
Private four-year institution

Course Context:

Course Content:

Themes: In this course we will address Roots: What is cross-cultural psychology and what are its goals? What is the history of cross-cultural psychology and how does it relate to psychology in general, cultural psychology, and related disciplines? Methodology: How do we work and how do we interpret our data? How do we use the comparative method? Variation in Behavior across Cultures: What is known about similarities and differences in human development, cognition and social behavior across different cultures? Acculturation: What psychological changes follow intercultural contact and how do we adapt to these changes? Application: How can cross-cultural psychology be applied to better the lives of individuals and their societies?

Course Goals:

Students in this course will:
  • Develop a greater appreciation for the importance of culture in shaping human development and behavior
  • Be exposed to the major research methodologies used in cross-cultural psychology
  • Master basic theory and research knowledge in cross-cultural psychology
  • Expand their worldview as they become more keen observers of culture
  • Strengthen critical thinking skills and ability to apply scientific scrutiny to main body of psychological knowledge



Teaching Materials:

References and Notes: