Global Psychology.

Global Psychology.

Global Psychology.

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Discussion: Alternative Psychologies (Due 1/17/18)

Thus far in your experience as a psychology student, you have been introduced to the field of psychology in terms of the mind and its functions in relationship to human behavior. Most introductory psychology textbooks and resources for other psychology classes emphasize a cause-and-effect scientific model, which typifies traditional psychology in the United States and the Western hemisphere in general. Throughout this course and in your course text, you read about Western psychology, which is representative of the practice of psychology in the United States. Global Psychology.


Alternative psychologies evolved independently of Western psychology because they are suitable for the needs of non-Western cultures. One notable difference is that alternative psychologies prioritize collective or group processes over isolated individual processes. Alternative psychologies view individuals as reflections of the larger culture or society. While the various alternative psychologies do have differences, they also have common themes such as those outlined in your course text: meaning-making, collective construction of psychological reality, time-dependent processes, and normative explanations.

Liberation psychology, which is one type of alternative psychology, has been used to address the needs of the poor and the oppressed in Latin America. With liberation psychology, the focus is on social change. Social change is possible when attempts are made to improve the conditions of the entire community rather than to only address the needs of one specific individual within the group. Additionally, this type of alternative psychology makes a difference by addressing challenges of the native people where they live, in their professions, and in the world around them. Liberation psychology also helps people understand what they need in order to facilitate change.

To prepare for this Discussion:

· Review Chapter 6 in your textbook, Toward a Global Psychology: Theory, Research, Intervention, and Pedagogy. Pay particular attention to the sections about alternative psychologies and liberation psychology.

· Referring to the video clips located in this week’s Optional Resources as examples, utilize the internet to identify one video that illustrates how liberation psychology empowers individuals to address their challenges.

· After viewing your selected video, identify the issues that were particularly challenging for the individuals in the video. Focus on two issues of particular interest to you.

· Reflect on how the common themes of alternative psychologies are evidenced in liberation psychology.

· Consider Walden University’s Mission for Social Change, which is to create scholar-practitioners who can effect positive social change.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 3

Post a description of the video you selected. Specify two issues that were particularly challenging for the individuals in the video. Explain how liberation psychology could be or was applied to address the two issues you identified. Discuss how liberation psychology reflects at least two of the themes common to alternative psychologies. Describe how you, as a Walden University scholar-practitioner, might utilize liberation psychology as a means to effect positive social change.

Course Text: Stevens, M. J., & Gielen, U. P. (2007). Toward a glob al psychology: Theory, research, intervention, and pedagogy. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

· Chapter 6, “Toward a Conceptual Foundation for a Global Psychology”

· Chapter 7, “Qualitative Research Methods for a Global Psychology”

Assignment: Culturally Appropriate Research Methods (Due 1/19/18)

In order to understand research methods that are suitable for global psychology, it is important to state what is meant by “global psychology.” Marsella (1998) refers to global psychology as “concerned with understanding, assessing, and addressing, the individual and collective psychological consequences of global events and forces by encouraging and using multicultural, multidisciplinary, multisectoral, and multinational knowledge, methods, and interventions” (p. 1284).

Culturally sensitive research methods employed by psychologists with a global perspective usually are qualitative, while Western psychologists often employ quantitative approaches. Quantitative approaches emphasize cause and effect and reflect a traditional scientific method. Quantitative methods also are objective and value statistical analyses. Qualitative methods allow more subjectivity and often involve observation and interviews that are harder to quantify. Recently, many Western psychologists have increased their acceptance of qualitative methods or blending quantitative and qualitative methods (mixed methods). However, even in the realm of qualitative methods, psychologists have identified some methods that are more appropriate than others in satisfying the needs of their discipline. Your course text explains four specific, culturally appropriate research methods: action theory, discourse analysis, grounded theory, and focus groups.

Despite global psychology’s preference for culturally appropriate qualitative methods, most peer review committees of professional journals publish studies that use traditional quantitative methods. Thus, psychologists who work internationally or globally continue to encourage researchers to apply culturally appropriate quantitative and qualitative methods.

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