PSYC3042 Intercultural Diversity and Indigenous Psychology

Bachelor Course Unit


One trimester


3rd year

Credit points:

6 (out of 144)



Mode(s) of delivery:

On-campus and Online Delivery




This unit provides an overview of the principles and practice of cross-cultural psychology. It beings with an introduction to culture, social identity and group behavior, as well as important considerations in cross-cultural research. This will be followed by an exploration of major theories and research evidence for cross-cultural differences in key areas of psychology, including cognition, perception, psychosexual development, health, personality and psychopathology. Cross-cultural differences within social and organizational behavior are also studied. Finally, there will be a focus on Indigenous psychology, with particular emphasis on Indigenous psychology in Australia.

Unit description

The aim of this unit is to provide students with an awareness and understanding of how cultural issues impact a range of facets of psychology and human behaviour. Topics to be addressed include: Enculturation, migration and asylum seeking; cross-cultural differences in emotion, personality, cognition and perception; indigenous psychology and mental health issues for practice; culture and social identity; culture and organisations; cross-cultural differences in sex and sexuality; Intercultural diversity in psychopathology

Learning outcomes

On completion of the unit you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of culture, cultural identity, cultural influence, and prejudice.
  • Articulate the strengths and limitations of cross-cultural research and develop a research proposal incorporating these.
  • Demonstrate a familiarity with the key issues faced by minority populations, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, migrants, refugees, LGBTT, and people with physical/intellectual disabilities.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the major theories and research evidence for crosscultural differences in key areas of psychology, including cognition, perception, psychosexual development, health, personality and psychopathology.  
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key concepts of indigenous psychology and how these relate to researching and working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in particular.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the ethical issues associated with researching and offering psychological interventions diverse populations.

Unit content

  • Introduction to key concepts in cross-cultural psychology and cross-cultural research
  • Enculturation, migration and asylum seeking
  • Cross-cultural differences in emotion, personality, cognition and perception
  • Introduction to key concepts in Indigenous psychology
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples: mental health and wellbeing principles and practice
  • Culture and social behaviour: identity, relationships, cooperation and aggression

  • Culture and organisations

  • Cross-cultural differences in sex and sexuality

  • Sexual orientation and sexual identity in the LGBT communities

  • Intercultural diversity in the development, manifestation, and treatment of psychopathology

Learning and teaching process

This unit comprises 10 weekly 2.5 hour lectures and 9 weekly 1 hour tutorials. Attendance at tutorials is compulsory. Attendance at lectures is highly recommended. Lectures will be captured electronically at the time of delivery. These recordings of the slide content and oral presentation will be available for downloading as soon as it is feasible after the lecture.

Assessment Summary

Assessment information provided at the commencement of the unit in the online class space.

Recommended text

For more information regarding recommended texts for specific units, please see the School of Psychological Sciences Textbook List.

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. This includes plagiarism of any nature. It is your responsibility to make sure that you understand what constitutes plagiarism in order to ensure that you do not engage in it. Please refer to the Academic Misconduct Policy for more information.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it throughout the trimester. Your lecturer will advise when there are updates on the site and also when readings are available for class discussion.