Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Studies should involve more cross-cultural collaboration

MU researchers suggest ways to facilitate cross-cultural collaboration

Previous studies have found that the vast majority of published psychological research in the United States is based on American samples and excludes 95 percent of the world’s population. Yet, these results are often generalized and taken as universal.

When University of Missouri doctoral student Reid Trotter examined perfectionism and coping methods in Taiwanese culture for his dissertation, he decided to collaborate with a graduate student in Taiwan. From their collaboration, they found that models of perfectionism and coping were not universal. Trotter hopes his experience will encourage more researchers to develop cross-cultural relationships.

“In general, there has been very little cross-cultural research in the United States,” Trotter said. “This has resulted in an insufficient understanding of the psychological functioning of the human species. Cross-cultural research requires developing a relationship with a member of the culture in which you plan to study. This relationship will help researchers address possible cultural blind spots that may unintentionally weaken the study.”

Previously, geographical barriers limited researchers’ ability to develop these relationships. Now, technology, such as Skype, can help scholars facilitate communication and work through possible cultural misunderstandings.

“Cross-cultural relationships require trust and respect and should be collaborative instead of hierarchical,” said Puncky Heppner, professor of educational, school and counseling psychology in the MU College of Education. “Researchers need to be aware if they are coming across as condescending in another culture and realize they are examining a culture with their own glasses that may tint a situation blue, whereas other glasses may tint a situation yellow.”

Previous studies that used samples in the United States have found that maladaptive perfectionists reported higher levels of psychological distress, such as depression and anxiety, whereas adaptive perfectionists reported higher self-esteem than the other groups. To examine the validity of Western models of perfectionism and coping models in Taiwanese culture, Trotter collaborated with Hsiao-Pei Chang, a Taiwanese doctoral student and Li-fei Wang, a professor from National Taiwan Normal University who helped connect Reid and Hsiao-Pei. They found that avoidance and detachment coping predicted maladaptive perfectionism, which in turn predicted impaired psychological functioning. This is congruent with the Taiwanese cultural context that is strongly influenced by Confucianism, Heppner said.

Chang and Trotter talked consistently via Skype for several months before data was collected. Instead of using an internet survey, Chang helped collect data onsite in Taiwan. Then the data was sent to Trotter, so he could analyze the findings and eventually complete his dissertation. Chang was able to join Trotter’s dissertation defense meeting in Missouri via Skype and contributed feedback about the study.

“The Skype meetings allowed them not only to discuss the best approaches to collecting data within the Confucian culture of Taiwan but also to develop a strong cross-cultural working alliance,” Heppner said. “As a native of Taiwan, Chang was able to offer expert suggestions on numerous methodological procedures, such as how to present an informed consent to Taiwanese participants in a culturally competent and non-threatening manner and what type of incentives should be provided.”

Trotter will discuss his experience and findings at the American Psychological Association Conference this August.

“My collaboration with Chang helped me illuminate cultural differences and understand the intersection of culture and psychology,” Trotter said. “I found that perfectionism means different things to different cultures. This study strongly suggests that perfectionism models are not universal.”

Kelsey Jackson | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>