Cultural psychology ultimately aims to increase intercultural understanding, but it has also been accused of reifying stereotypes. Can learning about cultural psychology research cause students to increase their cultural sensitivity, or does it increase stereotyped and rigid thinking about cultural others? Students in an undergraduate cultural psychology course (N = 34) were compared to students in control psychology courses (N = 20) in pre- and post-course measures of cultural awareness, cultural intelligence, essentialistic thinking, prejudice, moral relativism, and endorsement of stereotypes and sociotypes. Compared to students in the control courses, cultural psychology students increased in cultural awareness, moral relativism, and meta-cognitive cultural intelligence, but students who received lower grades in the course also increased their endorsement of stereotypes that were not endorsed by cultural psychology research. Implications for intercultural training and the communication of research on cultural differences are discussed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
CitationBuchtel, E. E. (2014). Cultural sensitivity or cultural stereotyping? Positive and negative effects of a cultural psychology class. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 39, 40-52.
- Cultural sensitivity
- Cultural psychology
- Intercultural training