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United States Dominance in Psychology

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

*Chapter 1, “Orientation to a Global Psychology”
*Chapter 2, “International Perspectives on the History of Psychology”

Application: United States Dominance in Psychology

Collaboration is a critical feature of global psychology. In order for professionals to work together throughout the world, it is important for them to have some shared standards and philosophies. However, collaboration can be difficult in a world with diverse people, geography, politics, and beliefs. While it is not necessary for psychologists to agree on all issues, it is helpful to respect and appreciate a variety of theories and viewpoints.

For decades, the United States has dominated the field of psychology. When one country dominates a discipline, the field can become narrow and emphasize limited points of view that may not be applicable throughout the world. For example, developing nations may use psychological tests that do not accurately assess their population. Researchers in non-Western countries may try to replicate research in Western countries even though the study is not relevant for their needs. While United States dominance in psychology both contributes to and detracts from practices in other parts of the world, some psychologists have been quite uncomfortable with its powerful influence. In fact, according to your course text, American psychology has been accused of being xenophobic.

To prepare for this assignment:

*Review Chapter 2 in your course text, Toward a Global Psychology: Theory, Research, Intervention, and Pedagogy. Pay particular attention to the following sections: “U.S. Psychology Versus Other Psychologies,” “Dissatisfaction with U.S. Dominance in Psychology,” “Dissatisfaction with Western Psychology,” and “Emerging Countries in Psychology.”

*Think about how United States dominance in global psychology has contributed to other parts of the world.

*Consider how United States dominance in global psychology has detracted from or even hurt efforts or development in countries around the world.
Consider whether you agree or disagree with the accusation that American psychology is xenophobic.

*Think about how psychologists with an interest in global psychology might influence the discipline to satisfy those who are concerned about United States dominance in psychology.

****The assignment (1–2 pages):

*Explain two contributions of United States dominance in global psychology.

*Explain two ways in which United States dominance in global psychology has detracted from or even hurt efforts or development in other countries.

*Take a position either agreeing or disagreeing with the accusation that American psychology is xenophobic. Then defend your position.
Explain how global psychologists might influence the discipline to satisfy those who are concerned about United States dominance in psychology.

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