Course Outline: Psychology 265

Course Information

  • Department: Psychology
  • Prepared By: Dr. Michaela Porubanova
  • Prepared Date: Fall 2017
  • Course Title: Culture and Cognition
  • Course Code: PSY 265
  • Credits: 3
  • Contact Hours: 45

Course Description

This course explores the methods, research, and theory in the field of culture, cognitions, and psychology in general. The main aim of the course is to introduce and familiarize students with the role of culture across a variety of psychological areas including perception, cognition, emotion, developmental processes, as well as social and abnormal behavior. The course is organized into three, inter-dependent modules. The first module concerns the exploration of culture as a determinant of one’s socialization and development of personality. The second module provides an excursion into the role of culture in cognition; the way we think, perceive and organize our knowledge. The third module explores anthropological works on morality, religion, ritual, and emotion. Credits: 3 (3,0)

  • Required For: None
  • Elective For: All Curriculum
  • Required Text: Cultural psychology, 2nd Edition by Steve Heine, Norton and Company

Course Schedule (Preliminary)

1 Introduction: Why culture?
2 Culture and Human Nature
3 Defining Culture Cultural Evolution
4 Development and Socialization
5 Self, Collectivism
6 Cognition
7 Language
8 Groups and close relationships
9 Living in Multicultural Worlds
10 Acculturation
11 Emotion
12 Cultural Anthropology and Cultural Biology
13 Morality and Religion
14 Cooperation and Prosociality
15 Students' Presentations

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Understand the role of culture in human condition
  • Sensitize themselves to cross-cultural issues and topics
  • View psychological phenomena from socio-cultural perspective
  • Report on cross-cultural psychological research and its strengths as well as potential drawbacks
  • Understand the role of culture in shaping our perceptions

This course will combine lecture, in-class assignments and discussions, films, and field work (outside of class assignments).

Reading Assignments

  • Adams, G. (2005). The cultural grounding of personal relationship: Enemyship in North American and West African worlds. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 948–968.
  • Giguère, B., Lalonde, R. N., & Lou, E. (2010). Living at the crossroads of cultural worlds: The experience of normative conflicts by second generation immigrant youth. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 4, 14-29.
  • Haji, R., Lalonde, R. N., Durbin, A., & Naveh-Benjamin, I. (2011). A multidimensional approach to identity: Religious and cultural identity in young Jewish Canadians. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 14, 3–18.
  • Hormes, J., & Rozin, P. (2010). Does "Craving" carve nature at the joints? Absence of a synonym for craving in many languages. Addictive Behaviors, 35, 459–463. • Inglehart, R. (2006). Mapping global values. Comparative Sociology, 5, 115–136.
  • Markus, H. R., Uchida, Y., Omoregie, H., Townsend S. S. M., & Kitayama S. (2006). Going for the gold: Models of agency in Japanese and American contexts. Psychological Science, 17,103–112.
  • Masuda, T., Gonzalez, R., Kwan, L., & Nisbett, R. E. (2008). Culture and aesthetic preference: Comparing the attention to context of East Asians and Americans. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 1260–1275.
  • Miller, K. F., Smith, C.M., Zhu, J., Zhang, H. (1995). Preschool origins of cross-national differences in mathematical competence: The role of number-naming systems. Psychological Science, 6, 56-60.
  • Ryder, A. G., Yang, J., Zhu, X., Yao, S., Yi, J., Heine, S. J., & Bagby, R. M. (2008). The cultural shaping of depression: Somatic symptoms in China, psychological symptoms in North America? Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 117, 300–313.
  • Tsai, J. L., Miao, F., & Seppala, E. (2007). Good feelings in Christianity and Buddhism: Religious differences in ideal affect. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 409– 421.