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Regular version of the site
Master 2019/2020

Cross-cultural Psychology

Type: Compulsory course (Applied Social Psychology)
Area of studies: Psychology
Delivered by: School of Psychology
When: 1 year, 1-3 module
Mode of studies: offline
Master’s programme: Applied Social Psychology
Language: English
ECTS credits: 8
Contact hours: 68

Course Syllabus


The course is aimed to develop students’ competencies and interest in сulture and psychology field. After fulfilling the course, students will know basic approaches of modern cross-cultural psychology and their implementation in different areas of their everyday activity in multicultural settings. During the course students get acquainted with what cross-cultural psychology is, how it differs from other related spheres of psychology and how it can be applied to scientific and real-life situations. Students will learn how to measure and map different cultures and understand culture’s impact on cognition, personality and communication. Students will study the factors and outcomes of successful acculturation and intercultural relations. Students will also train to create convincing presentations, write a theoretical review and work with some practical exercises. Starting from 2020 part of the lectures is provided in a distant mode using internet technologies.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To introduce the main theories and researches in cultural and cross-cultural psychology
  • To develop an interest, motivation and skills of primary analysis of cultural specifics of individual and group behavior
  • To develop awareness of different cultural assumptions.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Student is capable to define theoretical and applied aspects of cross-cultural psychology.
  • Student owns the system of main categories and instruments of cross-cultural psychology. 
  • Student is capable to give definitions of the main categories and know different theoretical approach and methods of culture measurements.
  • Student is capable to apply the knowledge of cultural measurements to reveal and explain the cultural differences and similarities.
  • Student knows main theoretical grounds explaining cultural influences on cognition.
  • Student knows main theoretical approaches explaining cultural influences on personality.
  • Student owns the system of main psychological categories and definitions related to intercultural communication.
  • Student is capable to apply the knowledge of cultural specifics in verbal and nonverbal communication in multicultural settings.
  • Student knows main theoretical models and approaches to acculturation.
  • Student is capable to apply knowledge of cross-cultural psychology to solve problems occurring in intercultural relations in different contexts/levels (individual, group, societal)
  • Student is capable to explain cross-cultural differences in cognitive processes - such as perception, attention, thinking, memory etc - and emotions.
  • Student can apply knowledge about personality related concepts to explain the cultural differences and similarities.
  • Student knows about basic practical socio-psychological interventions to improve intercultural relations.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Topic 1. Introduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology
    Increase scientific interest in cross-cultural psychology of the last decades: globalization and migration. What is cross-cultural psychology? Fundamental questions of cross-cultural psychology. Cultural psychology. Indigenous psychology. Relationships between culture and human behaviour. Absolutism, Relativism, Universalism. Varieties of comparative psychological research. Emics and Etics. Topical categories including cultural coverage. Definitions of culture. Theoretical framework for studying ecology, culture and behavior
  • Topic 2. Measuring and Mapping Cultures
    How to “measure” a culture? Objective and subjective elements. Cultural Syndromes (Triandis): Cultural complexity, Tightness-looseness, Individualism-Collectivism. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions: Individualism, Uncertainty Avoidance, Power Distance, Masculinity. World Values Survey (Inglehart): Traditional versus Secular-Rational values, Survival versus Self-Expression values. Cultural Value Orientations (Schwartz): Embeddedness – Autonomy, Egalitarianism – Hierarchy, Mastery – Harmony. Basic human (individual) values (Schwartz). 10-values circular continuum. Refined theory of basic values (19 values circle). Social axioms (Bond, Leung).
  • Topic 3. Culture and Cognition
    Culture as cognition. Perception and culture. Historical roots (Rivers’, Segall, Wagner experiments). Sensory functions. Perception of patterns and pictures. Optical illusions (Mueller-Lyer illusion, horizontalvertical illusion, Ponzo illusion). Theories of explanation of visual illusions (carpentered world theory, front-horizontal foreshortening theory, and physical theory). Depth perception (Hudson’s experiments). Face recognition across ethnic groups. Cultural patterns of drawing. Perception of color. Perception of time. Culture and Intelligence. General intelligence. Ethnic differences in IQ scores and its’ explanation. Intelligence and intelligent behavior. Contributions of biological and socio-economic factors. Cultural values of Cognition. Cognitive styles. Culture and construction of emotions. The cultural construction of concepts, attitudes, values, and beliefs about emotions. Culture and Problem Solving. Culture and Creativity.
  • Topic 4. Personality and Culture
    How culture shapes personality? Climate’s influence on Personality. ‘Culture and Personality’ School (М.Мead, R. Benedict, R.Linton, A.Kardiner). The Basic Personality Structure. Modal Personality Theory. National character. Internal versus External Locus of Control. Problems with the early studies of Personality. Five Factor Theory (McCrae and Costa). Universality of genetic structure. Age trends in Personality. NEO-P-R Tests of Universability, Personality Profiles of Cultures. Self in Social Context. Sex Differences in Personality. Social Roles Explanation. Evolutionary Explanation. Environment Stress Explanation. Some non-western concepts.
  • Topic 5. Culture and Communication
    Factors of communication and culture. Cultural influences on language. Culture and verbal communication. Cultural-conditioned styles of verbal communication: direct and indirect styles of verbal communication. High vs. Low context cultures. Culture and nonverbal communication. Proxemics in the context of culture. Gestures. Touch. Use of silence. Humor. Examples of miscommunication. Competency in cross-cultural communication. Intercultural competence. Intercultural personality. Intercultural intelligence. Intercultural Training.
  • Topic 6. Psychology of Acculturation and Intercultural Relations
    Plural societies. Psychology of acculturation. “Culture shock”. Stress of acculturation. Strategies of acculturation (Berry). The Interactive model of acculturation - IAM (Bourhis et al.) Relative Acculturation Extended Model – RAEM (Navas et al.) Multidimensional Individual Difference Acculturation model – MIDA (Safdar et al.) Sociocultural, psychological, economic adaptation of migrants. Intercultural psychology. Stereotypes and prejudices. Multiple identities. Benefits of multiculturalism as ideology and policy. Three hypotheses of intercultural relations (multiculturalism hypothesis, contact hypothesis, integration hypothesis). Studies of intercultural relations in plural societies. Practical socio-psychological interventions to improve intercultural relations.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Ongoing class activities
  • non-blocking Home task 1 - preparation of poster presentation on one of the recommended articles
  • non-blocking Home task 2 - written assignment
    Student may choose whether to create case and conduct case analysis or to write an analytical essay on a topic (list of topics is provided by lecturers)
  • non-blocking Written exam
    The exam is conducted in written form (test with different types of tasks) using asynchronous proctoring. The exam is conducted on the Moodle platform (https://et.hse.ru/), proctoring on the Examus platform (https://hse.student.examus.net). You need to connect to the exam 15 before the text starts. Testing of the system is available on the Examus platform. The student's computer must meet the following requirements: 1. A PC or a laptop (mobile devices are not supported); 2. Windows operating system (Windows 7,Windows 8,Windows 8.1,Windows 10) or Mas OS X Yosemite (version 10.10, or a newer version); 3. Student should have the latest version of the Google Chrome web browser (at the moment when you take the test) installed (for the latest updates of the web browser, please see chrome://help/); 4. Student’s computer (or laptop) must be equipped with a functioning external or built-in web cam; 5. Student needs to make sure that the mic is functioning and has been switched on (including built-in mics); 6. Student should have a steady Internet connection with a speed of not slower than 1 Mbps per second (however, the recommended speed is 2 Mbpsper second); 7. Student’s computer should successfully pass the ‘Computer setup’ test. This test is available after the installation of the ‘Examus’ application. Studens needs to install the application and log in using your login and password. 8. Student needs to make sure that his/her network is set up so that the following ports: 443/TCP; 80/TCP; 3478/UDP; 3478/TCP; are open to the following IP addresses:;;; IMPORTANT: If student’s computer does not meet these requirements or fails to pass the ‘Computer setup’ test, the option of taking an exam with proctoring services shall not be available. To participate in the exam, the student must: log in to the proctoring platform in advance, test the system, turn on the camera and microphone, and confirm their identity. During the exam, students are forbidden to: communicate (in social networks, with people in the room), use their notes or electronic documents, cheat. A short-term connection failure during the exam is considered to be a connection failure of less than a minute. A long-term connection failure during the exam is considered to be a failure of a minute or more. If there is a long-term connection failure, the student cannot continue to participate in the exam. The retake procedure involves the use of the similar tasks and procedure. More details about the procedure is available in the document sent to the students.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (3 module)
    0.1 * Home task 1 - preparation of poster presentation on one of the recommended articles + 0.25 * Home task 2 - written assignment + 0.25 * Ongoing class activities + 0.4 * Written exam


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Berry, J. W. (2017). Mutual Intercultural Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1560357
  • Breugelmans, S. M., Chasiotis, A., & Vijver, F. J. R. van de. (2011). Fundamental Questions in Cross-Cultural Psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=366256
  • Hazel Rose Markus, & Shinobu Kitayama. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.F4474DDB
  • Matsumoto, D. R. (2001). The Handbook of Culture and Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=129712
  • Richard E. Nisbett, Incheol Choi, Kaiping Peng, & Ara Norenzayan. (n.d.). Copyright 200i by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 0033-295X/01/$5.00 DO1: 10.1037//0033-295X.108.2.291 Culture and Systems of Thought: Holistic Versus Analytic Cognition. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.E8103D79
  • Valsiner, J. (2012). The Oxford Handbook of Culture and Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=826680

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Berry, J. (2016). Comparative analysis of Canadian multiculturalism policy and the multiculturalism policies of other countries. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.3E9CF8B5
  • Diener, E., Oishi, S., & Lucas, R. E. (2003). PERSONALITY, CULTURE, AND SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING: Emotional and Cognitive Evaluations of Life. Annual Review of Psychology, 54(1), 403. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.54.101601.145056
  • Eunkook M. Suh, & Harry C. Triandis. (n.d.). Cultural Syndromes and Subjective Well-being. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.E85CB1AF
  • Harry C. Triandis, & Michele J. Gelfand. (1998). Converging measurement of horizontal and vertical individualism and collectivism. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.21251665
  • Hofstede, G., & Minkov, M. (2010). Long- versus short-term orientation: new perspectives. Asia Pacific Business Review, 16(4), 493–504. https://doi.org/10.1080/13602381003637609
  • Holliday, A., Kullman, J., & Hyde, M. (2010). Intercultural Communication : An Advanced Resource Book for Students (Vol. 2nd ed). London: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=476453
  • Immigrant youth: Acculturation, identity and adaptation. (2006). Applied Psychology: An International Review, 55(3), 303–332. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsnar&AN=edsnar.oai.openaccess.leidenuniv.nl.1887.16610
  • Jeffrey Sanchez-burks, Fiona Lee, Incheol Choi, Richard Nisbett, Shuming Zhao, & Jasook Koo. (2003). Conversing across cultures: East-West communication styles in work and nonwork contexts. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.2D783024
  • Kavanagh, C., & Yuki, M. (2017). Culture and Group Processes. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.9C8A4171
  • Leung, K., & Bond, M. H. (2009). Psychological Aspects of Social Axioms : Understanding Global Belief Systems. New York: Springer. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=275662
  • Liu, S., & Gallois, C. (2014). Integrating intercultural communication and cross-cultural psychology: Theoretical and pedagogical implications. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.AD7AAB0B
  • Marsella, A. (2012). Psychology and Globalization: Understanding a Complex Relationship. Journal of Social Issues, 68(3), 454–472. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4560.2012.01758.x
  • Masuda, T. (2017). Culture and attention: Recent empirical findings and new directions in cultural psychology. Social & Personality Psychology Compass, 11(12), n/a-N.PAG. https://doi.org/10.1111/spc3.12363
  • McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (1997). Personality Trait Structure as a Human Universal. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.DC271D70
  • Phan, D. T. (2013). Integrating Personality and Coping Styles in Predicting Well-Being Across Cultures. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.72BDD79F
  • Robert R. Mccrae, & Antonio Terracciano. (2005). Personality profiles of cultures: Aggregate personality traits. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.68D17445
  • Ronald F. Inglehart. (2017). Evolutionary Modernization Theory: Why People’s Motivations are Changing. Changing Societies & Personalities, (2), 136. https://doi.org/10.15826/csp.2017.1.2.010
  • Schachner, M. K., van de Vijver, F. J. R., & Noack, P. (2017). Contextual Conditions for Acculturation and Adjustment of Adolescent Immigrants – Integrating Theory and Findings. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.6CF2D505
  • Schwartz, S. H. (2001). Extending the cross-cultural validity of the theory of basic human values with a different method of measurement. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 32(5), 519–542. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022101032005001
  • Takahiko Masuda, Phoebe C. Ellsworth, Batja Mesquita, Janxin Leu, Shigehito Tanida, & Ellen Van De Veerdonk. (n.d.). ATTITUDES AND SOCIAL COGNITION Placing the Face in Context: Cultural Differences in the Perception of Facial Emotion. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.B80AC061
  • Thomas F. Pettigrew. (n.d.). INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS AND GROUP PROCESSES A Meta-Analytic Test of Intergroup Contact Theory. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.E5FCBB03
  • Torres, C. V., Schwartz, S. H., & Nascimento, T. G. (2016). The Refined Theory of Values: associations with behavior and evidences of discriminative and predictive validity. Psicologia USP, 27(2), 341–356. https://doi.org/10.1590/0103-656420150045
  • Triandis, H. C., & Triandis, H. C. (2001). Individualism-collectivism and personality. Journal of Personality, 69(6), 907–924. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-6494.696169
  • Van de Vijver, F. J. R. (2013). Contributions of internationalization to psychology: toward a global and inclusive discipline. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.B101B794
  • Yama, H., & Zakaria, N. (2012). Inference and culture : The distinction between low context culture and high context culture as a possible explanation for cultural differences in cognition. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edssch&AN=edssch.oai%3aescholarship.org%2fark%3a%2f13030%2fqt4vn8f7pz