Week 2: Cognition and Intelligence Across Cultures

Week 2: Cognition and Intelligence Across Cultures

Consider the notion of time. Do you think everyone grasps the concept of time in the same way? If you do, you are not alone. Most of the world shares a common 24-hour clock and calendar. There are time zones and each day dawns at different times around the globe, but “meet me at noon” or “be there in two hours” means the same thing everywhere, correct?

Or does it? As you will discover this week, that depends. Perceptions of time may vary widely by culture, including the concept of a “time commitment.” Awareness and understanding of these differences—as one example of cognition across cultures—is a key focus of the week.

Another focus of Week 2 is intelligence. Perception of intelligence can also vary by culture. Those differences have all kinds of implications, particularly in devising IQ tests for a broad audience.

As you look ahead to the week, keep in mind the course-wide goals that were set in Week 1—i.e., to develop your critical thinking and scholarly writing skills. Another general theme this week is supporting your viewpoints with clear reasoning and evidence from the Learning Resources. This is an element of both critical thinking and scholarly writing—and a skill that will support your success in this course and far beyond.

Note: Watch for “Just in Time” links for the Learning Resources, Discussion, and/or Assignment this week. When you see a “Just in Time” link, hover to get helpful tips or other guidance for completing your best coursework.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze effect of culture on perceptions of time
  • Analyze concept of intelligence from a cross-cultural perspective
  • Analyze measures of intelligence for cultural bias
  • Apply concepts of cross-cultural psychology
  • Demonstrate understanding of cognition and intelligence from a cross-cultural perspective

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Shiraev, E. B., & Levy, D. A. (2017). Cross-cultural psychology: Critical thinking and contemporary applications (6th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.
Chapter 4, “Cognition: Sensation, Perception, and States of Consciousness” (pp. 104–131)
Chapter 5, “Intelligence” (pp. 135–163)

These chapters of the text explore topics that include cultural influences on perception of depth, color, time, beauty, and music; altered states of consciousness; and cultural and ethnic differences in conceptualizing intelligence. Note that both chapters are the focus of the Week 2 Test for Understanding.

Bolton, A. (2008). The construction of intelligence in terms of cultural differences between East and West. The Fountain, (61). Retrieved from https://fountainmagazine.com/2008/issue-61-january-february-2008/the-construction-of-intelligence-in-terms-of-cultural-differences-between-east-and-west

This article discusses the concept of intelligence from different cultural perspectives and can support your Assignment for Week 2.

Dove, A. (1971). The Chitling intelligence test. Retrieved from http://wpsc10psych.weebly.com/uploads/2/1/0/1/21014898/intelligence_tests.pdf

Developed in 1971 by Adrian Dove, an African American sociologist, the Dove Counterbalance General Intelligence Test, also known as “The Chitling Test,” is designed as an educational and instructional tool to illustrate cultural bias in intelligence testing. Use this resource to prepare your Assignment this week.

Exactly What Is Time? (2016). Time in different cultures. Retrieved from http://www.exactlywhatistime.com/time-in-different-cultures/

This article explores cultural perceptions of time and can support your Discussion post this week.

The original Australian test of intelligence (2003). Retrieved from http://wpsc10psych.weebly.com/uploads/2/1/0/1/21014898/intelligence_tests.pdf

This test is based on the culture of the Edward River Australian Aboriginal community in North Queensland. Use this resource to prepare your Assignment for this week

Walden University Writing Center. (2016b). Scholarly writing: Overview. Retrieved from http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/scholarly
Continue to use these guidelines for scholarly writing to support your written work this week.

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013b). Alien diary 2: Cognition and intelligence across cultures [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

This media piece of an “alien visitor to Earth” introduces the weekly topics.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 1 minute.


Document: Alien diary 2: Cognition and intelligence across cultures Transcript (PDF)

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013). Ellis Island immigration [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 2 minutes.

This media montage is of historical footage of immigration at Ellis Island.

Accessible player –Downloads–Download Video w/CCDownload AudioDownload Transcript

TEDx. (2012, May 15). TEDxBMS – Guillaume Gevrey – What time is it? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/IovSk4cLCd0

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 12 minutes.

The speaker describes his experience in understanding different cultural perceptions of time and how time is used and to whom it is given. View the video to support your Discussion post this week.

Optional Resources

Benson, E. (2003). Intelligence across cultures. Monitor, 34(2). Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/feb03/intelligence.aspx

Discussion: Cultural Perceptions of Time

Being highly time conscious can work in your favor when interacting with other people who see time the same way. You can probably think of instances when you were late or someone else kept you waiting, and most likely there was some frustration or anger. But what would happen if you were in another cultural setting? Does everyone around the world get frustrated or offended when people are late? Our Learning Resources this week that address the differences in cultural perceptions of time, including what it means to be “on time” and sensitivities around deciding with whom and where time should be spent. Even if you have never offended others, or been offended, by a different idea of time, chances are you have experienced more subtle cultural differences in perceptions of time. For example, consider friends who are chronically early or late, when you are the opposite. How might culture explain those differences in perceptions of time?

For our Discussion this week, you will explore the role culture plays in how we perceive, think about, and feel about time, and your personal experiences with these concepts. The goal is for you to have a chance to gain new understanding of past experiences and perhaps even adjust your thinking about time!

Reminder – we are trying out a new discussion format in this class. To prepare:

  • Review the Week 2 Learning Resources that focus on time. In particular, pay attention to Chapter 4 and the section on “Perception of Time” in the course text.
  • Reflect on your experiences with different perceptions of time. Use the information and examples in the Learning Resources to help you recall relevant situations. Think deeply to consider experiences you may not have connected to perception of “time,” such as visiting a place where people walk and talk at a different pace than you do, and how you viewed that difference. Remember last week we studied the Naturalistic Fallacy?  We always tend to assume our way is the “right” way, so if I was taught to be very punctual, I will have trouble understanding people who do not consider punctuality important.  However, we cannot assume that “different” is the same as “wrong” when talking about time!
  • Reflect on your perception of time before this week and how your work in Week 2 has influenced your thinking about time. Are there people or situations that make more sense now? How will this knowledge help you in your current and future work?

Just like last week, our goal is to generate conversation. There are many aspects of time consciousness and it impacts virtually every part of our lives, so enjoy exploring this topic. Contribute one question to the discussion (don’t forget to provide background) and respond to at least two questions (or a response) posed by your peers.

By Day 3

Post your one question with background to the discussion board.

Put your question in the subject line of your post and put your supporting text in the message area of the post.

Discussion Tips:

  • Questions published earlier in the week get more responses.
  • Support your question with at least one reference (textbook or other scholarly, empirical resources) in the message body.
By Day 5

Respond to at least two peers’ main questions (or their response). Colleague replies do not need to be supported by a reference.

Submission and Grading Information
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:
Week 2 Discussion Rubric

Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 5

To participate in this Discussion:
Week 2 Discussion