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PSYC 3350 (43)
Chapter 2

Chapter Two cross cult

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University of Guelph
PSYC 3350
Saba Safdar

Chapter Two: Cross-Cultural Research Methods Types of Cross-Cultural Research: Method Validation Studies... *Validy – refers to whether or not a scale, test or measure accurately measures what it is supposed to measure *Reliability – refers to whether it measures it consistently *these two concepts are important to all researchers, cross-cultural researchers or not.. *cross-cultural researchers cannot simply take a scale or measure that was developed and validated in one culture and use it in another - just because it is valid in one culture, there is no reason to assume that its equally valid in any other culture Cross-cultural validation studies – examine whether a measure of psychological construct that was originally generated in a single culture, is applicable, meaningful and most importantly psychometrically equivalent (that is, equally reliable and valid) in another culture *they test the equivalence of psychological measures and tests for use in other cross- cultural comparative research *important to conduct before cross-cultural comparisons Indigenous Cultural Studies *characterized by rich descriptions of complex theoretical models of culture that predict and explain cultural differences *basic philosophy of this is that ... psychological processes and behavior can only be understood within the cultural milieu within which it occurs; thus to understanding mental processes and behavior requires an in-depth analysis of the cultural systems that produce and support those processes and behaviors, linking them to each other *more recently has been used to explain cultural differences in a number of psychological processes, including morality, eye movements when viewing scenes, the nature of unspoken thoughts, the need for high self-esteem, and many others Cross-Cultural Comparisons... *are studies that compare cultures on some psychological variable of interest *these are the most prevalent types of cross-cultural study Types of Cross-Cultural Comparisons... There are four important dimensions that underline and characterize different types of cross-cultural comparisons: - Explanitory vs. Hypothesis testing - Contextual variable (how much: status age education reflects findings) - structure vs. lvl oriented - indivudual vs. ecological (cultural- country) lvl Exploratory vs. Hypothesis Testing... First Dimension *Exploratory studies – designed to examine the existence of cross-cultural similarities and differences - researchers tend to stay close to the data in these studies *Hypothesis testing studies – designed to examine why cultural differences may exist - make larger inferential jumps by testing theories of cross-cultural similarities and differences *the validity of these inferential jumps is often threatened by cross- cultural biases and inequivalence *the methodological strengths and weaknesses of exploratory and hypothesis-testing studies mirror each other *the main strength of exploratory studies is their broad scope for identifying cross- cultural similarities and differences *main weakness = limited capacity to address the causes of the observed differences Presence or Absence of Contextual Factors... Second Dimension *contextual factors – may involve characteristics of the participants (socioeconomic, age, status, education factors) or their cultures (religious institutions, economic development) *from a metholodigical perspective... contextual factors involve any variable that can explain, partly or fully, observed cross-cultural differences *using contextual factors will increase validity, and help rule out influence of biases and ineqvuialence *hypothesis-testing studies generally need to include contextual variables Structure vs. Level Orientated... Third Dimensions *Structure Orientated = comparisons of constructs (eg. is depression conceptualized the same way across culture), their structures (can depression be assessed by the same constituent elements in different cultures), or their relationships with other constructs *Level Orientated Studies – involves comparison of scores (do individuals from different cultures show the same level of depression?) *structure orientated focuses on relationships among variables and identifies simialarities and differences in these relations across cultures *level-orientated studies ask whether people of different cultures have different mean levels of different variables Individual vs. Ecological (Cultural Level) Fourth Dimension *individual level studies are the typical type of study in psychology - in which individual participants provide data and are the unit of analysis *Ecological or cultural level studies – use countries or cultures as the unit of analysis *just showing a difference between two cultural groups does not demonstrate that the difference occurs because of any cultural differences between them *thus researchers became interested in identifying the kinds of psychological dimensions that underlie cultures in order to better understand cultures on a subjective level *the most well-known ecological-level study of culture is Hofstede’s seminal work Which resulted in his four dimensions are: 1) Individualism vs. Collectivism 2) Power Distance 3) Uncertainty Avoidance 4) Masculinity versus Femininity Orientation *he included a fifth dimension called... Long- versus Short-term Orientation *in recent years, individual and cultural-level data have been combined in what are known as multi-level studies *these are studies that use data from two or more levels and incorporate the use of sophisticated statistical techniques that examine the relationship of data at only one level to data at another Designing Cross-Cultural Comparative Research: Getting the Right Research Question... *by far the most important part of any study, cross-cultural or not is knowing what research questions to ask in the first place *it happens all too often that researchers exclusively focus on designing the methodology of a study without considering adeqautely what research question should be addressed in the first place *one of the major challenges that face cross-cultural researchers today concerns how to isolate the source of differences between cultures, and identify the active cultural ingredients that produced those differences *it is the empirical documentation of those active cultural ingredients that cross-cultural research designs need to play close attention to *once the active cultural ingredients that produce differences are identified there is a level of analysis issue - cultural variables exist on the group and individual levels *and studies themselves can be entirely on the individual or cultural level or involve a mixture of the two in varying degrees with multiple levels *different variables at different levels of analysis bring with them different theoretical and methodological implications and require different interpretations of the research literature *a commonly held view that culture “produces differences in a fairly top-down fashion is a theoretical bias held by many Designs that Establish Linkages Between Culture and Individual Mental Processes and Behaviors *two types of linkage studies... that attempt to empirically establish linkages between the contents of culture and the variables of interest in the study Unpacking Studies – are extensions of basic cross-cultural comparisons, but include the measurement of a variable (contextual factor) that assesses the contents of the culture that are thought to produce the differences on the variable being compared across cultures -culture like an onion, layers need to be peeled off until nothing left *here cultural as an unspecified variable is replaced by more specific variables in order to truly explain cultural differences - these variables are called context variables- and should be measured to examine the degree to which they can account for differences. - any variable that is thought to vary on the cultural level and that may be thought to affect psychological processes can be used as context variables. Below all are contextual variables that are important in linkage studies Individual-Level Measures of Culture – (is a contextual variable) these are measures that assess a variable on the individual level that is thought to be a product of culture *the most common dimension of culture operationalized on the individual level is Individualism versus Collectivism *Hui developed the individualism-collectivism (INDCOL) scale to measure an individual’s IC tendencies in relation to six collectivities (spouse, parents and children, kin, neighbors, friends and coworkers and classmates) *researchers viewed IC as a cultural syndrome that includes values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors *they treated the various psychological domains of subjective culture as an entire collective rather than as separate aspects of culture *on the individual level... triandis reefers to individualism and collectivism as ideocentrism and allocentrism Horizontal Collectivism – individuals see themselves as members of in groups in which all members are equal Vertical Collectivism – individuals see themselves as members of ingroups that are characterized by hierarchal or status relationships Horizontal Individualism – individuals are autonomous and equal Vertical Individualsim – individuals are autonomous but unequal Self-Construal Scales: *indiviualistic and collectivistic cultures differed in the kinds of self-concepts they fostered, with individualistic cultures encouraging the development of independent self- construal and collectivistic cultures encouraging the development of interdependent self-construals *this led to development of scales measuring independence and interdependence on the individual level, most notably the self-construal scale Personality: *cultural differences may be a product of different levels of personality traits in each culture *U.S., Australia, and New Zealand for example are noted for their relatively high degree of extraversion *France, Italy and the French Swiss are associated with high levels of neuroticism *he demonstrated that the personality traits known as extraversion, neuroticism and conscientiousness were linked to emotion regulation and accounted for cultural differences in it *thus what were apparent “cultural” differences on a variable could be explained by differences in aggregate levels of personality between the two cultures studied Cultural Practises... *found that Americans and Japanese were different in their liking of others - differences in liking were linked to different cult
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