Fall 2019 - PSYC 352 D100

Culture and Cognition (3)

Class Number: 10120

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    AQ 3153, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    PSYC 201 and PSYC 250.



Major theories, perspectives, research developments, and methods in cross-cultural developmental psychology. Topics include perception, attachment, social relationships, prosocial development, motor development, theory of mind, teaching and learning, language and communication, and play. Students with credit for PSYC 391, Selected Topics in Psychology: Culture and Cognition, may not take PSYC 352 for further credit.


This course will be co-taught by Dr.'s Broesch & Carpendale, with each professor teaching 50% of the course. The course will provide you with a general introduction to major theories, perspectives, research developments and methods in the relatively young sub-field of cross-cultural developmental psychology. Specifically we will approach this topic from a social‐cognitive perspective, examining the impact of differences in parenting and the early social ecology of infants worldwide on development. Much of the research we will draw upon will be with infants, toddlers and preschoolers (0-5yrs) allowing us to examine the origins and implications of these early differences. We will cover topics such as perception, attachment and social relationships, prosocial development, motor development, theory of mind, teaching and learning, language and communication, and play. Within each of these topics, we will discuss the implications of differences in experience on early social cognition–how we process and make sense of the world. We will also spend time examining the implications for cultural variability in parenting and development in an urban setting (e.g. immigrant and refugees). Emphasis will be placed on fostering critical analysis of current theories and methodology, as well as discussing underlying assumptions in the developmental psychological literature. Students should leave the course with new questions regarding assumptions of child development as well as possess knowledge of the empirical details in support of both sides of these debates. During the course, we will invite well--‐respected scientist in the field to visit the class as guest *skypers* to answer questions about their research. These Q&A sessions will be short. Students will read one research article by the author prior to class. In class students will be assigned to teams to devise questions for the presenter.


1) think critically about theories, methods, and research in developmental psychology,
2) outline the theoretical perspectives and guiding themes in the subfield of cross-cultural developmental psychology,
3) identify key points in an empirical research article and summarize them concisely, and
4) evaluate evidence and situate it within a broad framework.


  • Midterm 1: 25%
  • Midterm 2: 30%
  • Response Papers: 25%
  • Team Questions: 20%


Readings will span the fields of developmental psychology as well as ethnographic reports and empirical investigations in anthropology. There is no textbook for the course and students are expected to attend class prepared to discuss the readings in depth.

Early child development across cultures; Early experience and social-cognitive development; Parenting; Socialization; Social learning.

Office Hours:  By appt



no textbook required

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html