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PSY1030 Cross-Cultural and Indigenous Psychology

Semester 2, 2015 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Psychology and Counselling

Contents on this page


Examiner: Jan Du Preez
Moderator: Yong Goh


Cross-cultural psychology, including Indigenous Australian psychology, aims to explore the relationships between cultural variables and human emotions and behaviour. This course will raise students' awareness of and sensitivity to the impact that cultural variables have on perception and cognition, social functioning and development, communication, personality, mental health and other specific arenas of the discipline of psychology. In doing so, students will begin to explore their own assumptions and values that affect the manner in which they approach others and the world at large, with a specific focus on Indigenous Australians. The course will thus provide a foundation for further study in psychology with an increased understanding of the broad impact of cultural factors. It is also hoped that the course may serve to influence students' personal development, inspiring greater tolerance and respect for, as well as involvement within, the increasingly multi-cultural society in which we live.


This course focuses on cross-cultural and specifically Indigenous Australian psychology, exploring both those areas that are common to all humans and those that differ across people from various geographical regions, with different racial and ethnic identities, and from various other cultural groups. As cross-cultural research is increasingly influencing broad aspects of the practice of psychology, the course will cover the various findings to date and explore how cultural factors impact upon human emotion and behaviour, specifically including cognition, social functioning and development, personality and mental health, amongst other sub-disciplines. Students, including non-psychology students, will develop their personal and professional understanding and awareness of cultural variables in order to help prepare them for further training and development. A variety of teaching and learning methods are employed, including a number of practical and interactive exercises to help students apply new knowledge and practise new skills.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the influence of culture on diverse aspects of human behaviour by describing the aspects of life that appear to be consistent across different cultures; and by describing the aspects of life that appear to differ across cultures;
  2. describe how traditional psychological theories and approaches may be inaccurate, incomplete or inappropriate due to a constrained awareness of cultural diversity;
  3. discuss the approaches taken by psychologists to promote cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity, including a basic understanding of cross-cultural research methodology;
  4. demonstrate an awareness of the various aspects of Indigenous Australian culture that differ, and do not differ, with regard to the various sub-disciplines of psychology;
  5. demonstrate an improved sensitivity to and awareness of cultural diversity in Australian society and throughout the world;
  6. follow specific writing, organisation, and style guidelines as set out in the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the APA.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to the Study to Culture and Psychology - Chs 1 & 2 10.00
2. Attitudes and Stereotypes - Ch 14 10.00
3. Impact of Culture on Social Functioning, & Development - Chs 3, 4 & 6 15.00
4. Impact of Culture on Physiology, Perception, & Cognition - Ch 5 10.00
5. Impact of Culture on Language, Communication, & Emotion - Chs 8 & 9 15.00
6. Impact of Culture on the Self & Personality - Ch 13 & 10 10.00
7. Impact of Culture on Mental Health - Chs 11 & 12 15.00
8. Impact of Culture on Group Relationships & Organisations - Chs 14 & 15 10.00
9. Summary & Conclusions 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • American Psychological Association 2009, Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edn, American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.
  • Burton, LJ 2010, An interactive approach to writing essays and research reports in psychology, 3rd edn, Wiley, Milton, QLD.
  • Matsumoto, D & Juang, L 2013, Culture and psychology, 5th edn, Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, Australia.
  • (Note - For the purposes of this course only one or the other of Burton and the APA manual will be required.).

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Students will be notified of details via the course StudyDesk as and when appropriate reference materials are suggested.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 55.00
Examinations 2.00
Private Study 106.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Intro and Cultural Diagram 5 5 17 Aug 2015
On-line Test 1 5 5 31 Aug 2015
Reflective Essay 30 30 06 Oct 2015
On-line Test 2 5 5 19 Oct 2015
Research Activity 5 5 26 Oct 2015
2 HR RESTRICTED (M/C) EXAM 100 50 End S2 (see note 1)

  1. Examination dates will be available during the Semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, students are required to access and participate in the on-line discussion group on a regular basis (see Introductory Book for details). Further, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assessment item. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each of the assessment items to be awarded a passing grade in the course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course. Note that the Conceded Pass is not available in this course due to APAC accreditation standard 2.1.9.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are: writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination). Students for whom English is not their first language, may take an appropriate non-electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any deferred or supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within five days if required by the Examiner.

  3. The Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances ? students should familiarise themselves with the University ?Assessment Procedure? and the ?Assessment of Compassionate and Compelling Circumstances Procedure?. Note that the maximum extension is five (5) University Business Days.

  4. In the event that a due date for an assignment falls on a local public holiday in their area, such as a Show holiday, the due date for the assignment will be the next day. Students are to note on the assignment cover the date of the public holiday for the Examiner's convenience.

  5. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded: IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination); IDM (Incomplete - Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  6. As there are resources cited in the Study Materials that are available on the World Wide Web, and a discussion group that will be used throughout the course, it is required that students undertaking this course have access to computer and Internet facilities which will enable them to participate fully in the course. Students who knowingly do not have reliable access to the internet should actively seek alternative internet access (e.g., Internet cafes, local libraries, or work places) for assessment submission and electronic assessment attempts. External students are able to use the on-campus student computer laboratories once access has been enabled. To be granted access, external students need to contact ICT and ask to have a student account enabled so that they can work on-campus.

  7. If students submit an assignment after the due date, without an extension, then a penalty will apply. At the very least, the penalty for late submission is a reduction by 5% of the maximum Mark applicable for the Assignment, for each University Business Day or part Business Day that the Assignment is late. An Assignment submitted more than ten University Business Days after the deadline will have a Mark of zero recorded for that Assignment.

  8. Only assessments that have been typed or printed on paper as per the specific guidelines outlined in the course materials will be accepted. Assignments submitted by facsimile or email will NOT be accepted.

  9. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //