Social Behaviour, Child Development, Child Rearing and Socialization



Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 2

Typically offered in

Spring semester

Course description

Aim of the course

The course draws attention to the interaction between culture and human behavior; it highlights the relevance of culture and the cultural approach in understanding psychological processes. It delineates the cultural diversity and cultural determinants of human behavior, primarily in the field of development, social behavior, child rearing and socialization by making use the theoretical and conceptual frameworks and methodological tools of cultural, crosscultural and indigenous psychology. The course throws new light upon, and handles with criticism, the different approaches and results of mainstream psychology. The goal of the course is to develop and strengthen cultural awareness and sensitivity.

Learning outcome, competences

  • Knowledge and understanding of the main characteristics of the values of diffferent cultures
  • Knowledge of the main achievements of modern cultural psychology
  • Knowledge of the historical and cultural aspects of the relationship between majority & minority groups


  • Openness to accepting the values of other cultures
  • Recognition of cultural differences, the importance of iindividual cultural identities and the complexity of everybody’s identity
  • Acceptance of the fact that the co-existence of cultures may lead to conflicts in every field of social life, which can be solved peacefully in pluralistic societies


  • Ability to reflect on the hidden assumptions of one’s own culture, to identify and critically relate to one’s own prejudices and ethnocentric views and to help others to develop this self-reflection
  • Ability to work efficiently in intercultural organizations and to win partners’ cooperation
  • Creation of a work milieu in which partners feel valued and accepted, and ability to cooperate constructively

Content of the course
Topics of the course

  • Culture and cultural perspectives in psychology
  • The characterization of cultures attempts in psychology: Cultural Dimensions
  • The characterization of cultures made further experiments in psychology: social values and relationship models
  • Social cognition, self-perception
  • Helping behavior. Psychological well-being
  • Group behavior
  • Acculturation
  • Development and socialization theories
  • Moral development
  • Cognitive evelopment

Learning activities, teaching methods
Interactive lecture, experiential learning, films, work in groups and dyads.

Evaluation of outcomes
Learning requirements, mode of evaluation, criteria of evaluation:

  • active participation in the class
  • following materials of the course, reading literature

mode of evaluation:

  • written tests and written assignments to be uploaded on the elearning platform of the course during the semester, (50%) (dates to be designated at the beginning of the course)
  • oral or written exam (50%): based on lecture materials and readings

criteria of evaluation:

  • understanding the topics and connections between different topics, concepts discussed in the course, the capacity to place them in a broader background
  • capacity to apply the knowledge acquired in the course

Compulsory reading list

  • Berry, J.W., Breugelmans, S.M., Poortinga, Y.H., Chasiotis, A., Sam, D.L. (2011): Crosscultural Psychology: Research and Applications. Cambridge University Press.
  • Gardiner, H. W., Kosmitzki, C. (2011) Lives across cultural: cross-cultural human development. Fifth edition. Allyn&Bacon, Boston.
  • Kagitcibasi, C. (2007): Family, self and human development across cultures. Theory and application. 2nd edition. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
  • Rogoff, B. (2003): The cultural nature of human development. Oxford University Press.
  • Smith, P., Fischer, R., Vignoles, V.I., Bond, M.H. (2013) Understanding Social Psychology Across Cultures: Engaging with Others in a Changing World. Second Edition. Sage Publications, London.