Research Topic

African Cultural Models in Psychology

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The United Nations estimates that Africa will make up a quarter of the world’s population by 2050. Yet, mainstream psychology’s address of basic psychological processes has largely developed without adequate representation from African samples. Further, psychology in Africa has traditionally been very applied ...

The United Nations estimates that Africa will make up a quarter of the world’s population by 2050. Yet, mainstream psychology’s address of basic psychological processes has largely developed without adequate representation from African samples. Further, psychology in Africa has traditionally been very applied in nature and designed to address problems that many contemporary African societies face. To date, this applied emphasis has contributed minimally to theory development that informs the broader discipline. Thus, while there is some appreciation for what psychology can do for Africa, there is not a similar appreciation for what Africa can do for Psychology.

Again, while there is a discourse about the need to Africanize Psychology on the continent, there is no similar discourse to better represent Africa in Psychology to make the discipline less WEIRD (western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic) as Heinrich et al have stated in 2010.

The goal of this Research Topic is to bring together contributions that highlight cultural models that describe or explain patterns of existing within, making sense of, interacting with, and shaping the world that stem from African experiences.

The theoretical contribution to the discipline of psychology must be a central component of the submission. The link to a basic psychological phenomenon, such as a construct or process in cognition, motivation, emotion, perception, sociality, human biology, behavioral health, etc must be clear; and must be explored in one or more African settings. One or more African samples must be the central foci of the study. Non-African samples can be included, but only in order to demonstrate cultural process differences.

Manuscripts accepted for this collection will use primarily bottom-up (e.g. cultural indigenous, cultural practice) and not top-down (e.g. cross-cultural validation) approach.

The special collection will consist of original, data-driven research reports (quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method approaches are acceptable). Reviews and theoretical papers will be considered if they are empirically grounded, novel and generative.


Keywords: Culture, Africa in Psychology, Theory development, African Cultural psychological models, Africa representation in Psychological processes


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