Thursday, June 5, 2008

Online Readings In Psychology And Culture (Western Washington University via LII)

Routinely, on the lists and blogs to which I subscribe, someone will bring up a topic that involves the psychology of a particular culture. Typically, one person will make a recommendation based on a western notion of the issue under discussion and then someone will ask the quite legitimate question, "Yes, but is this how they think about it?"

The good professors at Western Washington University's Center For Cross-Cultural Research have gone a long way towards providing an answer. They have put together an online textbook in psychology and culture that should probably be the source of first resort to help answer these vexing questions. The text breaks this complex issue down into 16 units, provides an introduction at the beginning of each of the units and then includes the full text of critical studies and journal articles that address the issues covered by the particular unit (Note: I found the link to the site through the always useful Librarian's Internet Index -- another source I recommend).

The interface is clean and easy to use. One could easily imagine this as a typical edited collection gathering dust on a library shelf. Put into this online format, all this good research is likely to actually get used. Kudoes to the editors and staff of the Center For Cross-Cultural Research for breaking away from the ordinary (I sure hope their tenure committees take notice as well...).

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