Third International Conference on the Teaching of Psychology
Walter J. Lonner,
Western Washington University,
Bellingham, Washington

Elke Murdock,

Presentation (ppt)


As indicated in the symposium abstract, the basic intent of this symposium is to examine the “cultural” content of basic texts in psychology, and changes that have taken place in them, during the past 20 years. In this presentation the main focus primarily on a follow-up study, or quasi-replication, of what was done 20 years ago (using 35 popular introductory texts) contrasted with 40 equally popular and contemporary introductory texts. A basic premise is that the rapid ascent of cross-cultural psychology during the past 40 years can be viewed as a “reform” and therefore can be considered an “experiment” whose effects can be tabulated, documented, measured, and explained. To accomplish this, a detailed procedure to assess the “cultural” content of the sample of texts was developed. Included in the analysis are details about specific topical coverage, depth and sophistication of coverage, and especially the documentation of the nature of changes that have occurred during the past 20 years. The procedure is currently being carefully and systematically employed for each of the 40 texts. The results will be explained during the symposium as well as integrated with the other presentations. Implications for the teaching of basic psychology throughout the world will be discussed and will include such questions as “Are there basic, core ideas about the interaction between psychology and culture that should be taught everywhere?”, “Should and how are these basic ideas to be introduced to beginning students?”, and. of course, “How can changes in ‘cultural’ coverage during the past 20 years be explained?”

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© 2008 Victor Karandashev