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Psychology Across Cultures

University of Warwick

Department of Psychology 2021/22

Module Code:


Module Name:

Psychology Across Cultures

Module Credits (CATS):


Module Conveners

Robin Goodwin and Anu Realo

Module Teachers

Robin Goodwin and Anu Realo

Module Aims

In a fast-changing world, “Psychology Across Cultures” explores how and why people’s basic psychological processes, values and behaviour differ across cultures and what this implies for psychological theory and application. The module highlights the importance of a cross-cultural perspective for understanding and explaining different contemporary issues such as migration, ethnic conflicts, globalisation and cultural change. In academic terms, the module aims to develop the students’ understanding of the fundamental concepts and theoretical perspectives pertinent to the study of culture and human behaviour.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • demonstrate a critical knowledge of how major psychological findings vary across cultures;

  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the major concepts and theoretical perspectives in cross-cultural psychology;

  • evaluate the relative contributions of values, beliefs and ecology to the understanding of cultural variations in psychology;

  • demonstrate a critical awareness of the key methods used in cross-cultural psychology;

  • understand and critically evaluate their own cultural values, norms and assumptions.

Assessed by:

Written report and exam

Module Workload

Module Length

12 weeks


One two-hour lecture per week


One one-hour seminar per week


Attendance at lectures and seminars is compulsory

Module Assessment

Assessed work:

Written Report





Module Programme

1. Understanding culture and cross-cultural psychology

2. The search for universals across cultures 1: Values and beliefs

3. The search for universals across cultures 2: Self and social cognition

4. Culture and emotion

5. Personality and culture

6. Culture and health

7. Culture and the psychology of mass trauma

8. Relationship variations across cultures 1: Forming relationships

9. Relationship variations across cultures 2: Family and children

10. Moving cultures

Module Reading List

Main module textbooks:

  1. Smith, P., Fischer, R., Vignoles, V., & Bond, M. H. (2013). Understanding Social Psychology Across Cultures: Engaging with Others in a Changing World. 2nd edition. London: Sage

  2. Berry, J. W., Poortinga, Y. H., Breugelmans, S. M., Chasiotis, A., & Sam, D. L. (2011). Cross-cultural psychology: Research and applications (3rd edition). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

NB! It is not required to purchase these books as the lectures and seminars are based on original research articles that can be accessed via Talis Aspire.