San José State University
Current Issues in Psychology: Cross-Cultural Psychology
(PSY 190.01; class number 21350)
Spring Semester 2009
Dr. Sharon Glazer
Mon. 12:30-3pm & Wed. 1-2:15pm; or
Course Catalog Description
Integrative survey of current viewpoints and issues in psychology, how they developed and likely future directions
of psychology. Prerequisite
: Psyc 100W; Co- or pre-requisite
: Psyc 120.
Course Goals and Overview
Cross-cultural Psychology aims to explore relationships between cultural variables and human behavior in co-
cultural or cross-cultural environments. Cross-cultural psychology provides the opportunity to learn the ways in
which human behaviors, values, thoughts, and feelings differ from each other because of culture. This course
examines a selection of the theoretical, empirical, and applied issues in the cross-cultural study of human social
behavior. We discuss some aspects of human behavior, affect, and cognition that are universal and some that are
culture-specific. We consider how and why behaviors, thoughts, and feelings differ across cultures and implications
for psychological theory and application. We cover only a small proportion of topics in cross-cultural psychology,
though it is hoped that this course will challenge what students have already been taught about psychological theory
and cause them to reassess and reinterpret what they “thought” they knew about human behavior.
By the end of this course, you should be able to:
1. Discuss the definition, the focus, and the goals of cross-cultural psychology.
2. Identify etic and emic theories of psychology.
3. Discuss the transferability of psychological concepts across cultures.
4. Identify, appraise, and challenge theoretical and methodological research in cross-cultural psychology.
5. Relate the material presented to issues in everyday life.
6. Apply cross-cultural studies into experiential activities.
Matsumoto, D., & Juang, L. (2008).
Culture and Psychology
ed.). Belmont, CA:
Additional articles will be uploaded to my website listed above.
will be distributed or made available over the Internet (see above URL) throughout the semester. You
are responsible for making sure you have a copy. Feel free to stop by during office hours to pick up a copy if you
will be or were absent.
According to Samuel Johnson, “knowledge is of two kinds: we know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can
find information upon it.” This course is designed to develop skills and knowledge for life-long learning in cross-
cultural psychology, and for developing familiarity with opportunities for research and practice. Therefore, students
will need to learn the latest techniques for bibliographic research.
In addition, an assumption of this course is that everyone has personal experiences that will facilitate learning this