Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Studies should involve more cross-cultural collaboration

10.05.2010
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:
http://www.missouri.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>