Unit 7 - Applied Psychology and Culture
With increasing globalization, and continuing migration around the world, it is more important than ever to be culturally competent. One must be able to get along with and interact effectively with people from differing cultural backgrounds. To do this, one must have knowledge of other cultures, and be sensitive to cultural differences in verbal and non-verbal communication as well as cultural values and expectations for social behavior.
To understand others' expressions, one must understand not only the stated words or gestures, but also the background of the cultural context in which they occur. This is often captured in cultural symbols (like a national flag), or in a cultural metaphor (such as American football), which is applied to other contexts (such as teamwork in an office). Research on cultural competence is included in this unit.
An important context for cultural competence is in organizations that are international in scope or have members from differing cultures. In analyzing both multicultural and monoculture organizations, we need to be cautious in applying perspectives from "developed" countries to "developing" countries, which may have characteristics that are different than those of developed countries or are different from each other. These differences may affect both leadership and teamwork. Research on organizational psychology is included in this unit.