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Social responsibility includes intercultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility, and the ability to engage effectively in regional, national, and global communities, including the workplace. These skills are rated highest as desirable skills among hiring managers.

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Intercultural competence includes:

  1. Knowledge of your own culture and      how it has shaped your world view.
  2. Knowledge of significant      characteristics of other cultures.
  3. Awareness of differences and      similarities in cultures.
  4. Ability to      adjust your actions to successfully interact with someone of another      culture.

How do we continuously improve our intercultural competence? First, by understanding that intercultural competence is complex, and it requires growing and maturing in three areas: mind set, heart set, and skill set.

Mindset is the domain where as we learn and engage with others, we recognize similarities and differences. A growth mind set requires self-awareness and cultural awareness.

Heart set is the domain where we learn to acknowledge, appreciate, and accept cultural differences. There are six dimensions to your heart set:

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  1. Self esteem
  2. Self-monitoring
  3. Empathy
  4. Open mindedness
  5. Reserved judgment
  6. Social relaxation
  7. Listening

Skill set involves our intercultural agility; the ability to adjust your actions to successfully interact with someone of another culture. Specific skills include message skills, appropriate self-disclosure, behavioral flexibility, and interaction management.

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Review the power point on eCampus, and watch the following videos:

Defining Intercultural Competence

The danger of a single story | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Engagement is the Answer! Cross-Cultural Lessons in Life and Psychology

Laura Johnson | TEDxUM

If I Could Change the World

Knowledge of civic responsibility includes: 

  1. Recognizing      your civic responsibility to a specific community: locally, nationally,      globally.
  2. Identifying      actions you will take as a citizen to address the pertinent issues within      your community.

Engagement in a community includes: 

  1. Describing      effective participation in civic engagement activities.
  2. Understanding      the purpose and benefits of your engagement in the community.

Intercultural Competence Questions 


1. Define your culture. Include display rules (e.g., culturally accepted ways of communicating with others in your culture). Go beyond discussing food, dance, music, and holidays. What makes your culture special?

2. Discuss and record the things that you love about your culture. How has your culture shaped your identity and how you feel about your place in the world?

3. Discuss the misconceptions about your culture – what bothers you the most?

4. Discuss the contributions your culture has made to the community, state, country, and the world.

5. Research and discuss a specific psychologist from your culture. Describe his/her area of research and contributions to psychology (requires research).


1. Engage with a person from a culture that is different from yours, and about which you know very little. This person is your “culture” partner.

2. Before you sit down to talk to your partner, honestly reflect on and record perceptions that you have about this culture.

3. Allow your partner to discuss his/her culture in detail. Record what your partner says, including display rules.

4. Listen to and record what your partner loves about his/her culture.

5. Listen to and record the misperceptions about your partner’s culture – what bothers your partner the most? Did you believe any of these misperceptions?

6. Listen to and record the contributions that your partner’s culture has made to the community, state, country, or the world, including a psychologist.


1. After reflection on the experience, summarize your encounter in essay form.

2. Include a discussion that compares and contrasts the two cultures (yours and your partner’s).

3. As you learned about your partner’s culture, discuss any emotions/feelings you may have experienced. Did your perspective change? How? What psychological factors (e.g.,

PART III, continued

stereotyping, perceptions, schemas, prejudice, “us vs them,” ignorance, motivation, personality) may have influenced your encounter, or could influence an encounter between people from your two cultures?

4. How did you adjust your actions to successfully interact with your partner?

Civic Engagement 

PART IV: Partner Collaboration – This section requires research and valid support for your suggestions.

If your partner is someone in class, each partner will turn in an individual project.

1. With your “culture” partner, choose an issue that affects both of your cultures at a local, national, or global level. Define the issue and community (some examples: food insecurity, access to health care, access to education, immigration, LGBTQ, gender equity, racial equity, white privilege, climate change, housing availability, poverty, stress, mental illness, discrimination).

When analyzed with a lens of civic responsibility (see definition above), discuss what responsibility exists to address this issue.

2. Based on research and personal experiences, discuss the important and relevant issues that need to be addressed within the issue and “community” that you have chosen to focus on.

3. Research and discuss how one can effectively participate in civic engagement activities to address this issue? Find out what organizations or opportunities for engagement already exits. How can people get involved? What are the steps to joining a group? Include websites and citations for existing programs.

4. If something needs to be developed, what is it and how will it make a difference?

5. Discuss how your personal involvement could benefit you.

6. Bonus: Actively engage in an event or activity that is related to the issue you chose. Discuss the experience.

Some tips for how to approach this section:

1. Avoid sharing only your opinion on this section. For example, you and your partner may want to reduce prejudice and racism. You may suggest that people should accept each other the way they are, and learn to get along better. Although these are favorable outcomes, you should include a discussion on realistic methods to achieve these outcomes. What programs exist? What does the research suggest? Has this outcome been achieved in another situation and, if so, how?

2. Similarly, you and your partner may suggest that immigration laws should be reformed to allow people to become citizens of the United States. Your discussion should outline the steps needed to accomplish such reform and how people can get involved. Marches and demonstrations call attention to issues, but they rarely change policy.

Definitions of words in the instructions: 

Explore – research, engage

Reflect – think deeply and honestly. Can also mean reflecting back to your partner what you heard him/her say.

Discuss – engage in a conversation with your partner. Also, when writing about the experience, be clear, accurate, precise, relevant, significant, in-depth, logical, and fair.

Record – Write down (see Discuss)

Research – Read, study, and provide evidence-based information (not only your opinion). Include references and citations.

Listen – pay attention to what your partner is saying. Suspend judgment, be empathetic and open-minded.


This project is valued at 100 points total: 80 points for the full assignment uploaded on eCampus by March 6, 2020, 11:59 PM and 20 points for posting your project on eCampus by March 6, and commenting to at least three classmates’ projects by March 8, 11:59 PM.

Do not rush through the assignment. Take time to get to know your partner. Think carefully about an issue that is important to you.

Your discussion/writing should be clear, concise, and in-depth. Your answers should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of your group’s culture and your partner’s culture, and how psychological principles apply to the encounter between you and your culture partner.

Research aspects: read reputable articles; visit credible websites; talk to people who are engaged in addressing the issue you chose. Visit, get involved.

As you develop your report, reflect on social or cultural barriers to interactions with members of the other culture. According to psychological principles, why is that?

Length: Minimum 3 pages (maximum 5 pages); typed, double-spaced, with 1” margins, 12-point font. Papers that are not typed will not be accepted. Grammar, style, and spelling account for 10 points of your grade. If the paper you turn in is illegible, you may forfeit all points for this assignment.

Style: To get started, answer the questions individually. If you get permission, you can record your conversation with your partner. Then, incorporate the answers into an essay. Paragraphs should transition logically. All answers must be in complete sentences using proper grammar and spelling.

Citations: You should have at least two (2) references to specific psychological theories to support your answers. The theories/concepts should be clearly related to your answers. Cite theory, author(s), main points, and how it supports your answer.

· In Psychology, we use the APA format for citations (a tutorial link is provided on eCampus).

· Do not include first names, book titles, or journal article titles in your written answers.

o For example, if you cite information from your text, do not write“According to Sandra Ciccarelli and J. Noland White in Psychology: An Exploration…”

o Do write: According to Ciccarelli and White (2016), psychology is a fascinating discipline.

· Direct quotes should be used sparingly (no more than two for the entire project) and only when the original author’s statement is the most effective way to state a concept or finding. You should always try to put other sources’ work in your own words.

· If you use a direct quote, it should be no longer than one sentence.

· Use proper citation for the quote:


o  “In any society, there will always be ingroups and outgroups, or us versus them” (Ciccarelli & White, 2016, p. 384).

o According to Ciccarelli and White, “in any society, there will always be ingroups and outgroups, or us versus them” (2016, p. 384).

o Periods go at the end of the sentence, but inside the closing punctuation, including quotation marks, if the quotation mark ends the sentence. Periods always go after the parenthesis. ( ).

o A complete list of references should be at the end of your assignment (not part of the 3-page minimum).

Standards of Critical Thinking 

This project will be graded using the Standards of Critical Thinking elements of the MVC Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) Writing Rubric. If you are in a face-to-face class on the Mountain View Campus, every classroom has a poster that lists these elements:

Clarity: understandable, nothing is confusing

Accuracy: the information is true, correct, and can be verified. Project demonstrates accurate and knowledgeable understanding of one’s ingroup and the outgroup and the relevant issue.

Precision: includes the specific information needed to address and explain the problem, issues.

Relevance: Incorporates meaningful information and observations. Information provided relates directly to the project.

Depth: includes enough complex information to address the psychological concepts related to ingroup and outgroup dynamics.

Breadth: involves more than one point of view; considers alternative perspectives

Logic: answers/paper makes sense; nothing is confusing, no contradictions

Significance: focuses on the important aspects of the ingroup’s and outgroup’s identities, positions, beliefs, norms, (culture). respondent’s life, not the trivial

Fairness: considers the thoughts and views of others

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