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Chao, M. M., Kung, F. Y. H., & Yao, D. J. (2015). Understanding the divergent effects of
multicultural exposure. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 47, 7888.
Understanding the Divergent Effects of Multicultural Exposure
Department of Management
School of Business and Management
Hong Kong University of Science & Technology
Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
Department of Psychology
University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
Department of Management
School of Business and Management
Hong Kong University of Science & Technology
Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
This paper is partly based on the International Academy of Intercultural Research 2013 Early
Career Award Address at the 8th Biannual Conference of the International Academy for
Intercultural Research. This program of research was partially supported by grants awarded to
Melody Manchi Chao from Research Grants Council, General Research Fund (#16400314) and
Direct Allocation Grant (DAG12BM13-14) in Hong Kong, as well as grant awarded to Franki
Kung as a Vanier Scholar by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (CGV-SSHRC-
00379) in Canada. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Melody
Manchi Chao, Department of Management, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology,
Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong. E-mail:
Cultures, as shared meaning systems, facilitate coordination and provide members within
a given society with a sense of epistemic security. They enable us to comprehend our social and
physical environment. As globalization draws people with diverse cultural meaning systems
together, some individuals open their minds to embrace diversity while others turn their backs on
it. In this review, we present the divergent effects that multicultural exposure has on individual
psychology and discuss their implications on intercultural relations. On the one hand,
multicultural exposure equips individuals with diverse perspectives, enhances their creativity,
and reduces their biases toward the different others. On the other hand, it results in more rigid
thinking style and more intergroup biases. After examining the divergent effects of multicultural
exposure, this review explores the boundary conditions that influence the outcomes of
multicultural exposure and discusses future directions.
Keywords: Culture, Multicultural Experience, Intercultural Relations
Understanding the Divergent Effects of Multicultural Exposure
Globalization brings people from different cultural backgrounds together. Research has
started to examine how multicultural experience influence individuals in the last decades. Some
studies suggested that multicultural experiences provide individuals with diverse and stimulating
ideas. Such experiences destabilize mundane thinking style and induce a more flexible mindset
(see DiMaggio, 1997). Other studies found that in the face of cultural diversity, individuals
become more closed-minded and are more likely to show exclusionary reaction against foreign
cultures (e.g. Chiu & Cheng, 2007; Morris, Mok, & Mor, 2011). The current paper reviews this
literature and examines the divergent effects of multicultural exposure. As culture, society, and
the individual mutually constitute each other, culture imparts individuals with a sense of
meaning, which in turn facilitates coordinated activities within a society. This meaning provision
function is particularly apparent in intercultural contexts, in which individuals from different
societies with diverse cultural representations and meaning systems come into contact with each
other. The extent to which individuals adopt, manage, and integrate multiple cultural systems has
important psychological and social implications in the increasingly globalized world (e.g.,
Morris, Chiu, & Liu, 2015). In this review, we begin by examining the functions that culture
serves for the individuals and the society. Then, we investigate the divergent social and
psychological impacts of multicultural exposure to intercultural relations. Finally, we explore
potential boundary conditions that result in the diverging findings and discuss potential future
research directions.
Culture as Shared Meaning System
Culture has been conceptualized as a shared meaning system. The tradition can be traced
back to early discussions in anthropology, psychology, and sociology (see Rohner, 1984).
Culture consists of representations such as norms, values, symbols, and behavioral scripts that
are shared by individuals within a given society (also see Chiu & Hong, 2007). Such
representations are often embedded in daily news, arts, folk stories, and cultural icons, and are
actively constructed and reconstructed by individuals. Humans are cultural animals. We rely on
culture to impart a sense of meaning (Baumeister, 2005). Culture helps connect individuals to the
societyIndividuals as members of a society share similar cultural representations, and such
sharedness facilitates the organization of a society (Rohner, 1984). As such, culture gives rise to
a stable and enduring pattern of relationships between the individual and the collective, and
between individuals within a collective. Such relationships constitute the foundation of a society
(Kashima, 2000).
Facilitate Social Coordination
Culture imparts individuals with a sense of meaning. Meaning shared within a culture can
be concrete or abstract (Chao & Kesebir, 2013; also see Janoff-Bulman & Yopyk, 2004). The
concrete and abstract meaning embedded in culture, such as norms, values, and behavioral
scripts, helps individuals make sense of their surroundings and facilitate coordination in the
society (see Baumeister, 2005; Lehman, Chiu, & Schaller, 2004). Concrete meaning refers to
cultural heuristics and behavioral scripts that help us to comprehend our social and physical
environment. For example, when we hear the utterance, “Would you like to have dinner with me
on Friday?” we know that dinner is a meal of the day and that Friday is the day after Thursday.
This aspect of culture helps us to coordinate daily activities almost effortlessly. Shared meaning
can also be abstract. It has to do with a broader sense of significance and worth. It connects
individuals to something larger than the self and transpires individuals beyond their physical
existence through such entities as social traditions, values, and beliefs that provide a sense of
worth to our everyday existence (see Chao & Kesebir, 2013; Mascaro, Rosen, & Morey, 2004).
Concrete and abstract meaning reinforces each other among people within a given society,
guiding our daily activities and helping us to make sense of the social and phenomenological
world. In line with this idea, Holtgraves and Kashima (2008) suggested that meaning, in a
concrete sense, is shared in joint activities to provide a common ground for social collaboration.
The common ground, once established, can be generalized across contexts, influencing the
abstract representation of meaning among people within a collective in the long run. The
accumulation of collective representations facilitates social coordination by allowing individuals
know what to expect and what they would be expected of in collaborative activities.
Culture, as a social coordination device, also serves social control function. It transcends
self-interest and promotes common good within a society (Chiu & Chao, 2009). In everyday life,
individuals are often confronted with the social dilemma of acting selfishly or acting
cooperatively (Dawes, 1980; Kollock, 1998; Schroeder, 1995). From the perspective of an
individual, being selfish is tempting because it enables oneself to take advantage of those who
are cooperative, and at the same time protects oneself from being exploited by those who are
selfish; however, from the standpoint at the collective level, societies that are dominated by
selfish choices would fail to coordinate and would unlikely be sustainable (Sober & Wilson,
1998; Wilson & Sober, 1994). Norms and accountability systems are evolved as an integral part
of culture to sanction behaviors that are deemed disruptive to the society (Chao & Chiu, 2011a;
Chao, Zhang, & Chiu, 2008; Gelfand et al., 2011). For instance, a common social control
practice is to hold wrongdoers personally responsible for engaging in acts that violate the code of
conduct. Culpability is judged according to the relative contributions of personal causality and
environmental damage. Individual would be held personally accountable to different extents,
increasing from mere association to foreseeable intentional harm doing (Fincham & Shultz,
1981; Heider, 1958; Shultz, Schleifer, & Altman, 1981). Such shared social practice helps
manage individuals and constraints their behaviors.
In addition to the universal need to coordinate among individuals within a society, it
should be noted that the formation and propagation of the shared meaning system are influenced
by a collection of ecological and historical factors that are related to adaptation, such as
surviving harsh habitats, scarcity of food, and recurring pandemics (Gilmore, 1990). Different
shared meaning systems are evolved accordingly to provide diverse adaptive solutions across
different societies (Barkow, Cosmides, & Tooby, 1992; Gelfand et al., 2011). Cultural values,
such as individualism and collectivism, are examples of such evolved adaptive solutions.
Whereas individualism emphasizes independence and personal achievement, collectivism
emphasizes obedience and conformity (Hofstede, 1984). These cultural values can be the
products of adaptation to ecological threats. For example, research has shown that pathogen
prevalence in a given ecology is strongly positively correlated with collectivistic values,
presumably because the cultural practices and norms associated with collectivism encourage
communal behaviors that help control the transmission of infectious diseases (Fincher, Thornhill,
Murray, & Schaller, 2008).
As another example, Gelfand and colleagues (2011) demonstrated that differences
between tight and loose cultures are afforded by ecological and societal threats and reinforced by
institutional practices. Tight cultures have strong social norms with little tolerance for deviance,
whereas loose cultures have relatively weak social norms and higher tolerance for deviant
behaviors. Societies facing severe ecological- and human-threats (e.g., historical territorial
conflict, resource scarcity, environmental threats) have higher need for strong norms and
punishment of deviant behavior; thus, tight cultures are evolved in these societies to facilitate
social coordination and social control. On the contrary, regions that are relatively free from such
threats tend to develop loose cultures.
Other research also suggested that different substance styles (e.g., herding versus
farming) afforded by the ecological environment gave rise to diverging cultural values and
practices in the East and the West. For instance, the mobility and independence of herders
resulted in more individualistic culture in the West, whereas the stability and intense demand for
labor resulted in more collectivistic culture in the East (Nisbett, Peng, Choi, & Norenazyan,
2001). Recent research further revealed that variations in farming practices (e.g., rice-growing
versus wheat-growing) could result in cultural differences among individuals who lived in
neighboring regions. For example, rice farming required farmers to coordinate water usage with
their neighbors and to establish irrigation system. It was much more labor intensive than wheat
farming, which could rely on rainfall and required less social coordination. Such differences in
farming practices were associated with cultural differences in southern versus northern China. In
rice-growing southern China, people were found to engage in more holistic thinking and to be
relatively more interdependent than those who were in the wheat-growing northern China
(Talhelm et al., 2014). These findings suggested that cultural system is evolved to serve adaptive
function in a given ecology.
In sum, culture is an evolved mechanism that serves to coordinate activities among
individuals within a collective and maintain social control within a society. Although the exact
coordination mechanisms evolved might vary from one society to another depending on the
physical and social constraints the society confronts, they serve a universal need to maintain
social order. In the following section, we focus on the individual and discuss how cultures
provide individuals with cognitive and behavioral guidelines. It is the sense of epistemic security
we turn to next.
Provide Epistemic Security
Culture provides schemas, enabling individuals to know what to expect and how to
conduct themselves in a given situation (Chao & Chiu, 2011b). This meets the psychological
need for epistemic security, which is also known as need for cognitive closure (Kruglanski,
2004). The need for cognitive closure is characterized by a reliance on established answers and
knowledge to make judgments and responses in a given circumstance; however, in the face of
uncertainty, it is exemplified by an urgency to search for a firm answer. Accordingly, culture as a
consensually validated meaning system provides individuals with a sense of closure within a
given society; it imparts people with the feeling of knowing answers to questions.
As mentioned above, certain cultural attributes are more prevalent in one culture than
another because they provide solutions to adaptation problems faced by the society; such
sharedness of dominant cultural practices confers individuals with epistemic security in a given
society. As a case in point, there are cross-cultural differences in the use of conflict management
strategies (e.g., Gelfand et al., 2001; Leung, 1987, Leung & Morris, 2001). Early research on
third-party dispute resolution procedures finds that having an independent third-party to arbitrate
and settle disagreements is a common practice among Americans, whereas engaging a third-
party who has existing relationship with the disputants is a more prevalent practice among
Chinese (Leung, 1987; Leung & Fan, 1997). Other studies also found that when distributing
resources to ingroup members, compared with their American counterparts, Chinese allocators
prefer equality norm and distribute resources equally, which reflect their desire for maintaining
group solidarity and interpersonal harmony (Leung & Bond, 1984). Individuals with high need
for closure are particularly likely to adhere to the dominant cultural practices in their respective
culture, such that American respondents who have high need for closure prefer to have an
independent third-party to settle dispute and endorse equity allocation practices more readily,
while their Chinese counterparts with high need for closure show stronger preference toward a
connected third-party in reconciling disagreements and adopt equality allocation rules more
readily (Fu et al., 2007). In short, knowledge about cultures serves as epistemic closure provider;
it provides useful information that allows individuals to adapt by adjusting their practices to the
cultural context (see Tam, Lee, Kim, Li, & Chao, 2012; Yakunina, Weigold, Weigold,
Hercegovac, & Elsayed, 2012).
Thus far, we have investigated how cultures, as shared meaning systems, help individuals
make sense of their surroundings. They are evolved mechanisms that facilitate social
coordination and social control in a given society, guiding individuals’ thoughts and actions. The
sharedness of culture imparts individuals with epistemic security. By internalizing cultural
values, norms, and practices, it enables individuals to adapt and function in a society. As the
world becomes increasingly globalized, however, individuals are no longer encapsulated by one
shared meaning system. They are often exposed to multiple meaning systems simultaneously
through such channels as direct interpersonal contacts, the mass media, as well as social media.
What are the implications of multicultural exposure? We turn to this question next.
Effects of Multicultural Exposure
Culture can shape our sense of self and our social relations (Kitayama & Markus, 2000),
influencing our cognition, emotion, and behaviors (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). Being socialized
into a given culture, individuals often habitually act and react in accordance to existing
perceptual schemas and behavioral scripts shared in their society (see Langer, 1978; Louis &
Sutton, 1991). Exposure to unfamiliar cultures might sensitize individuals from their own
cultural assumptions that have gone unnoticed and expose them to alternative ways of thinking
and acting. On the one hand, given that cultural meaning systems are evolved mechanisms that
facilitate adaptation to different ecologies, exposure to foreign ideas might open minds to
alternatives, facilitate creative syntheses, and enable individuals to function efficiently in
different societies (Maddux & Galinsky, 2009). On the other hand, being exposed to ideas that
are different from those embedded in our own meaning system might result in conflicting values,
social judgments, and behavioral standards on both intrapersonal and interpersonal levels,
disrupting adaptation and social function (Adair, Okumura, & Brett, 2001). Research has found
support to both possibilities. In the following, we briefly summarize the existing findings. We
then identify boundary conditions under which individuals would synergize or reject different
Synergizing cultures
Some scholars have suggested that exposure to multiple cultures can open minds to novel
experiences (Appiah, 2006). As mentioned above, different cultural systems are evolved to
provide diverse adaptive solutions in different societies. Conceptualizing these adaptive cultural
solutions as tools in a toolkit (DiMaggio, 1997), individuals who are exposed to multiple cultures
would acquire more cultural tools. With more tools available, they are then sensitized to diverse
ideas and enable them to consider alternative perspectives. This suggests that multicultural
exposure can facilitate social coordination and provide epistemic security, not only within a
society, but also across different societies, and promote intercultural understanding. For example,
Hong Kong Chinese biculturals are often exposed to the influence of traditional Chinese values
(Ho, 1986) and Western ideologies (Bond, 1993). Studies that examined biculturalism among
Hong Kong Chinese revealed that when the biculturals were reminded of Chinese culture (e.g.,
through exposure to images of the Chinese dragon and the Great Wall), they were more likely to
respond in ways that are more typical of Chinese, such as making more group attributions and
showing more cooperative behaviors (Hong, Morris, Chiu, & Benet- Martínez, 2000; Wong &
Hong, 2005). But they showed more Westernized responses when they were reminded of the
American culture (e.g., through exposure to images of the Statue of Liberty and Mount
Rushmore). Similar effects were also found among other bicultural individuals, such as Chinese-
Canadians and Dutch-Greek bicultural individuals (Ross, Xun & Wilson, 2002; Verkuyten &
Pouliasi, 2002). Furthermore, in our increasingly globalized world, individuals living within one
cultural milieu also possess shared representations of other cultures, which can influence their
judgments and decisions (Alter & Kwan, 2009). Findings from these studies showed that
individuals internalize different cultural knowledge readily, which can help them see the world
through different cultural perspectives and, potentially, facilitate coordination and idea
integration across cultural boundaries.
The diverse toolsets enable individuals to break down routine responses and behavioral
patterns, increasing their ability in generating creative solutions to solve complex problems
(Leung & Chiu, 2008; Tadmor, Galinsky, & Maddux, 2012). Specifically, result from a series of
studies showed that those who were exposed to multiple cultures showed higher creativity, they
are more able to generate unconventional ideas and show increased receptiveness to foreign
ideas (Leung, Maddux, Galinsky, & Chiu, 2008). Similarly, bicultural individuals who
internalized both cultures equally strongly were more able to recognize and integrate multiple
perspectives, produced more novel ideas, and were more innovative at work (Tadmor, Galinsky
et al., 2012). Furthermore, the creative benefits can also go beyond the individuals and manifest
themselves at the group level, leading to higher collective creativity (Tadmor, Satterstrom, Jang,
& Polzer, 2012). These studies revealed that when individuals are being exposed to multiple
culture, they would synergize these cultures to produce novel products that transcend cultural
The increase in receptiveness to foreign ideas should also reduce individuals’ reliance on
a single established cultural mindset when making social judgment and promote more tolerance
toward others who are different, breaking down intergroup biases (e.g., Pettigrew, 1997;
Pettigrew, 2008; Pettigrew, 2009; Pettigrew & Tropp, 2000; Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006). For
instance, studies had showed that after exposing European Americans to both American and
Chinese cultural images experimentally, participants endorsed stereotypes about African
Americans less and reduced biases in their hiring decisions. A similar intergroup bias reduction
effect was also found among Israeli participants. Specifically, higher levels of multicultural
experience among Israeli respondents were negatively associated with the endorsement of
stereotypes about Ethiopians, a major minority group in Israel, as well as native Israeli, an
ingroup. More importantly, the effects of multicultural exposure also generalized to other
minority groups, such as homosexuals (Tadmor, Hong, Chao, Wiruchnipawan, & Wang, 2012).
Taken together, research has suggested that individuals who are exposed to more than
one cultural meaning system acquire diverse perspectives. Recognizing the existence of diverse
perspectives benefits the individuals by fostering their creativity and receptiveness to ideas that
might seem foreign and unconventional; it can also help individuals adapt to different cultural
context more efficiently and reduce biased judgments, promoting positive intergroup outcomes.
Rejecting cultures
Despite these fervent views over the positive impacts of multicultural exposure, some
scholars are less optimistic (Barber, 1996; Huntington, 1996). They observe that exposure to
foreign cultures awaken the desire to defend ones’ own cultural values and worldviews.
Differences and incompatibilities between cultures would be exaggerated (Chiu, Mallorie, Keh,
& Law, 2009), leading to increased animosities between groups (Jayaratne et al., 2006). Thus,
the increase in intercultural contacts results in “clash of civilizations” marked by acute
intercultural competitions. As Huntington (1996) put it, “The fault lines between civilizations
will be the battle lines of the future.” (p. 22)
Consistent with this “fault lines” perspective, research has suggested that minimal and
even arbitrary perceived differences between social groups are sufficient to induce people to
exaggerate differences between social categories (Prentice & Miller, 2006). In one experiment,
compared with European Americans who were exposed to an American advertisement only,
those who were exposed to both an American and a Chinese advertisement were more likely to
exaggerate differences between American and Chinese cultural values and expect members of
their own cultural group to internalize coherent cultural attributes (Chiu et al., 2009). Research
studies that examined the effects of intercultural exposure during the 2008 Beijing Olympics
have come to similar conclusions; they revealed that the “One World, One Dream” ideal that had
been widely promoted during the Olympic Games had, ironically, remained to be no more than
just a dream (Cheng et al., 2011; Rosner, Li, Chao, & Hong, 2010). Specifically, the Beijing
Olympics did not only increase ingroup favoritism of Chinese (Cheng et al., 2011), it also led to
exaggerated perceived differences between Chinese and Western cultural values (Rosner et al.,
2010). Even after the game was over, mere exposure to icons that were symbolic of the Games
were sufficient in eliciting perceived intercultural differentiation. Apparently, highlighting
cultural differences could induce a sense of incompatibility between “we” versus “they,”
influencing intercultural relations adversely (Schwartz & Struch, 1989; Schwartz, Struch &
Bilsky, 1990).
Contrary to the optimistic view presented earlier, individuals who are exposed to more
than one cultural meaning system do not necessarily acquire diverse perspectives and become
more receptive to foreign ideas. Instead, individuals tend to exaggerate the perceived differences
and incompatibilities between cultures, resulting in more biased judgments and negative
intergroup outcomes. From this perspective, exposing individuals to different cultures present
challenges to societies if they adhere to one culture and reject other foreign cultures. It might
disrupt social coordination and result in cultural disharmony both between individuals and
between groups within a society or across different societies.
Reconciling the contradictions
On the one hand, some studies suggest that being exposed to multiple cultures can be
mind-opening. It enables individuals to see things from diverse perspectives and be more
receptive to unconventional ideas. It can also promote intercultural understanding and positive
intergroup outcomes, facilitating interpersonal exchanges and social coordination within and
across different societies. On the other hand, other studies reveal that culture clashes when they
come into contact with each other. People tend to exaggerate perceived incompatibilities
between categories and show more rigidity in their thinking. They adhere more strongly to
conventional ideas which can fuel negative intergroup outcomes, disrupting social coordination.
How can we reconcile these contradictions? In the following, we identify boundary conditions
that provide some preliminary answers to address this question and suggest some future
Openness to experience. Individuals with high openness to experience tend to appreciate
novel ideas. They are receptive to diverse perspectives, and are able to solve problems in an
unconventional manner (Costa & McCrae, 1992; McCrae & Costa, 1997). Multicultural
exposure presents individuals with rich conceptual structures. For individuals who are open to
new experiences, they are more receptive to new ideas. They tend to break their routine
responses in order to synergize different cultural ideas. In contrast, those with low openness may
resist foreign ideas and practices. For example, Leung and Chiu (2008) found that extensive
multicultural experiences predicted better performance in creativity tasks only among those who
were open to new experience. Specifically, high openness individuals were more fluent and
flexible in generating unconventional uses for a garbage bag, and more able to generate
normatively inaccessible occupation exemplars. In contrast, among their low openness
counterparts, multicultural experience was related to less creativity. This suggests that openness
to experience enables individuals to reach out to foreign cultures and makes use of novel cultural
knowledge to generate creative solutions to resolve problems. The cognitive flexibility enables
individuals with high openness to embrace different cultures, equipping them with different
adaptive cultural tools in their toolkit. Such cultural tools empower individuals to think out of the
box and generate novel solutions for problems, which might facilitate social coordination and
advance the societies as a whole.
Need for closure. The acquisition and internalization of cultural knowledge provide
individuals with epistemic security (Fu et al., 2007). They impart individuals with a sense of
order and predictability within their own societies. Individuals with high need for closure are
generally characterized by the tendency to “freeze” on established normative standards of their
own culture. But when their own cultural standards cannot provide them with consensually valid
answers in foreign cultures, they would reach out to the foreign cultures to “seize” alternative
solutions. This suggested that compared with low need for closure, high need for closure
individuals are generally associated with closed-mindedness and rejection of foreign ideas. In the
search for epistemic security in a foreign environment, however, they become highly receptive to
foreign cultural practices. That is, high need for closure can result in distinct psychological
consequences in the face of foreign culture. On one hand, individuals with high need for closure
tend to adhere to their own cultural normative standards and reject foreign cultures. For example,
Shah, Kruglanski and Thompson (1998) found that need for closure positively predicted ingroup
identification, while negatively predicted identification with an outgroup member and acceptance
of outgroup beliefs and attitudes. Similarly, Kruglanski, Pierro, Mannetti, and De Grada (2006)
suggested that need for closure induces group centrism syndrome, such as intolerance toward
diversity, rejection of normatively deviant ideas, adherence to group norm, as well as ingroup
favoritism and outgroup derogation. On the other hand, their need for epistemic security also
motivates them to open themselves up and to look for alternatives in foreign contexts, when their
own cultural norms can no longer meet their need. For example, when new immigrants find that
knowledge from their home country is not applicable in a new environment, those who desire
closure are motivated to seize and freeze on the consensually validated knowledge in the new
environment and are acculturated more quickly (Kashima & Loh, 2006; Kosic, Kruglanski,
Pierro, & Mannetti, 2004). Studies that investigated conflict management strategies across
cultural borders provided support to this idea (Chao, Zhang, & Chiu, 2009). As previously
mentioned, when allocating resources among ingroup, compared with their American
counterparts, Chinese allocators tend to adopt equality-based allocation strategies in order to
pursue interpersonal harmony (Leung & Bond, 1984). Studies on need for closure revealed that
Chinese participants who perceived more salient differences between Chinese and American
cultures adapted their strategies according to the specific cultural normative practices if they had
high need for closure. Thus, they were more likely to endorse equality-based allocation method
in Chinese context than in American context (Chao et al., 2009). These results are important
because they reveal the dynamic of psychological processes in multicultural environment. In
particular, individuals who appear to adhere to their own cultural normative standards rigidly in
their home cultures are also the ones who embrace foreign cultures in the face of diversity. The
different cultural tools provide them with answers to solve the problems at hand, facilitating
social coordination.
Essentialist beliefs. Essentialism is the beliefs that social groups possess underlying
essences that give rise to immutable characteristics (Gelman & Hirschfeld, 1999). It sets up a
social categorization mindset (e.g., Chao, Hong, & Chiu, 2013; Medin, 1989; Medin & Ortony,
1989), leading individuals to see groups as discrete categories with little overlapping attributes
(Kalish, 2002; No et al., 2008; Plaks, Malahy, Sedlins, & Shoda, 2012). In a multicultural
environment, attempting to reconcile and integrate seemingly incompatible essences between the
two cultures can be challenging for people with an essentialist categorization mindset (Chao,
Chen, Roisman, & Hong, 2007; also see Tong, Hui, Kwan, & Peng, 2011). For example, studies
showed that Asian Americans who essentialized group differences showed psychological
reactivity, such that when they were reminded of the American culture, they responded in a more
typical East Asian manner (No et al., 2008). This pattern of psychological reactivity also
manifested itself in their physiological responses. They showed greater stress and anxiety
responses when discussing their Asian-American intercultural experiences (Chao et al., 2007).
Moreover, essentialist thinking can hinder individuals from harvesting the creativity
benefit of multicultural exposure (Chua, 2013; Tadmor, Chao, Hong, & Polzer, 2013). Across
three experiments (Tadmor et al., 2013), participants were asked to read an article describing
fictitious scientific research that supports either essentialist or non-essentialist beliefs. The article
that aimed to reinforce essentialist beliefs argued that there were immutable attributes underlying
racial groups and that racial groups were meaningful social categories that divided people in
accordance to their inner qualities. The article that reinforced non-essentialist beliefs posited that
race consisted of malleable, socially constructed categories (see Chao et al., 2013; No et al.,
2008). After reading one of the articles, Jewish-Israeli undergraduate students were asked to
perform a task involving word associations to test their creativity in the first experiment. The
results showed that those who were primed with the essentialist article solved significantly less
problems compared with those who were primed with the non-essentialist article. Similar effects
were also found among European American and Asian American participants. Findings of these
studies across different samples and across different measures of creativity supported the idea
that essentializing differences between groups leads to more rigid thinking mindset and hinders
creative problem solving.
Rigid adherence to category characteristics hinders creativity (Sassenberg & Moskowitz,
2005; Schooler & Melcher, 1995), whereas strict adherence to conventional social category
attributes results in stereotyping (MaCrae & Bodenhausen, 2000; Stangor & Lange, 1994).
Although creativity and stereotyping appear to be two unrelated constructs and have often been
examined separately, they are rooted in a similar tendency to rely on existing category attributes
and conventional judgment mindsets. Not surprisingly, essentialist beliefs are found to be
negatively associated with creativity and positively associated with stereotype endorsements
(Tadmor et al., 2013). The endorsement of stereotypes can, in turn, bias social judgments and
attitudes, potentially leading to intergroup animosities (Devine, 1989).
Research has shown that European Americans who essentialized racial differences tended
to be more prejudiced against African Americans (Jayaratne et al., 2006; Williams & Eberhardt,
2008). In an experiment, German participants who read an article that enforced essentialist
beliefs (e.g., emphasized genetic heritage of European people) showed more negative attitude
toward their outgroup (i.e., Eastern Europeans) compared with those who read a neutral control
article; this effect was particularly salient among those who chronically endorsed essentialist
beliefs (Keller, 2005). Essentializing group differences also has behavioral implications.
Specifically, it reduced the emotional engagement of European Americans toward inequity issues
experienced by African Americans in the society and diminished interest in interacting with
racial outgroups (Williams & Eberhardt, 2008).
In sum, although multicultural exposure presents individuals with diverse ideas,
essentialist beliefs lead individuals to turn their backs on foreign ideas and hold onto their own
cultures vehemently. Unlike individuals with high need for closure, who are motivated to adhere
to different existing cultural frameworks depending on the immediate situations they are in,
individuals who endorse essentialist beliefs perceive incompatibilities between different cultures.
Thus, they adhere to their native cultures, avoid and even reject foreign cultures. In other words,
when different cultural tools are presented to them, individuals who endorse essentialist beliefs
would hold onto their own cultural tools even more firmly and rely on their own cultural tools,
even when the use of such tools might not be deemed effective.
Their zealous adherence to their own cultural norms and values can be adaptive if the
goal of the society is to protect and defend the uniqueness of different cultures and to enhance
differentiation between cultures. However, it can disrupt social coordination if the goal of the
society is to promote exchanges of ideas and mutual understanding across cultural boundaries
because essentialist beliefs tend individuals to increase the reliance on stereotypes and have
negative impacts on intercultural relations.
Majority/minority status and cultural identification. Majority and minority groups might
respond differently in the face of foreign cultures (see Craig & Richeson, 2014; Ryan, Hunt,
Weible, Peterson, & Casas, 2007). Although majority group members might embrace
intercultural learning in order to promote their cultural values among other majority and minority
group members in the community, they might also reject foreign cultures because they might see
the minority groups, who hold different cultural values and standards, as competitors striving for
realistic and/or symbolic resources (Ginges & Cairns, 2000; Stephan & Stephan, 1985). This is
particularly true for those who have a strong cultural identification. High identifying individuals
tend to see their culture as an important component in self-concept and thus are motivated to
preserve their own culture. Thus, when being reminded of racial and ethnic differences, majority
group members who possess strong cultural identification tend to perceive more threat, show
more prejudice, and are less willing to cooperate with outgroups (Morrison, Plaut, &Ybarra,
2010). That is, they are more likely to reject foreign cultures and adhere to their own cultural
For minority group members navigating in a society with a dominant culture that is
different from their own ethnic culture, although they might be inclined to adhere to a particular
culture identity, they might also develop dual identification with their native culture and the
dominant culture (Gillespie, McBride, & Riddle, 2010; Tadmor, Tetlock, & Peng, 2009),
fostering their ability in considering and combining multiple perspectives (Tadmor, Galinsky et
al., 2012). Importantly, individuals who develop dual identification might integrate their
identities to different extents. The extent to which individuals perceive the two identities as
compatible and integrated is known as bicultural identity integration (BII; Benet-Martínez &
Haritatos, 2005; Benet-Martínez, Leu, Lee, & Morris, 2002). Research has suggested that
bicultural individuals with high BII were more able to integrate information to generate creative
ideas (Cheng, Sanchez-Burks, & Lee, 2008), whereas biculturals with low BII tended to
experience greater cultural conflict, leading them to become more open to alternative
possibilities and to show higher cognitive complexity (Benet-Martínez, Lee, & Leu, 2006). This
suggests that individuals with high and low BII are able to synergize cultures to think creatively.
The findings that both high and low BII individuals are able to integrate ideas and are cognitively
complex seem to contradict each other at first glance; however, the cultural synthesis generated
by high versus low BII individuals might be qualitatively different. Whereas high BII individuals
produce creative cultural synthesis by accepting and integrating existing knowledge acquired
from given cultures, the experience of cultural conflicts enables low BII individuals to become
more cognitively complex, which might enable them to question existing cultural knowledge and
bring cultural synergy into a new level, beyond the established cultural mindsets. In other words,
high BII individuals are likely to be innovative by building on existing knowledge to produce
incremental ideas that are novel, whereas low BII individuals tend to innovate by introducing
radical ideas that go beyond established knowledge boundaries. Research has yet to examine
these apparently similar but qualitatively distinctive types of cultural synergy.
In short, being exposed to multiple cultures might have differential effects among the
majority and minority group members. In culturally diverse societies, majority group members
might perceive other cultures as sources of threat to the well-being of their ingroups. Thus, they
might avoid or even reject other cultures. Furthermore, as majority group members, individuals
define the normative standard of behaviors within their societies, which might further demotivate
them from opening their minds in acquiring other cultural tools. Minority group members,
however, might perceive other cultures as resources to help them adapt to different
environments. For these individuals, the multiple cultures foster their ability in considering and
combining multiple perspectives to generate creative synthesis.
Future directions
Taken together, these studies suggest that cultural diversity presents individuals with
challenges as well as opportunities. They have provided preliminary answers to help us
understand when individuals might synergize or reject foreign cultures. In general, the studies
reveal that it is the intrinsic interest to explore and the desire to know about foreign cultures that
enable individuals to synergize their cultural experiences. However, perceived cultural
incompatibility and the sense of threat lead individuals to reject foreign cultures in the face of
diversity. Existing studies tend to investigate the effects of these psychological processes
independently. Most studies also tend to focus on investigating the main effects of these factors
on multicultural exposure. The next important step is to identify the situations under which these
processes might operate and how these processes might be related.
For instance, existing studies on essentialism tend to focus on its main effects in
intergroup or intercultural contexts; however, little is known about whether and how essentialist
beliefs might interplay with other individual and social factors, for example, openness to
experiences and cultural ideologies. The default assumption of essentialist beliefs is that values
and norms from different cultures are inherently different and incompatible. They tend to close
people’s minds to foreign culture. However, for individuals who are open to different
experiences, essentialist thinking might sensitize them to the unique characteristics of different
cultures, which could potentially facilitate more creative integration of unique cultural
components and create products that are more than the sum of its parts. This ability to synergize
apparently incompatible attributes might enable individuals to transcend across cultural
boundaries and present societies with creative solutions to emerging social coordination
Furthermore, recent empirical and conceptual advances on cultural attachment (Hong,
Fang, Yang, & Phua, 2013; Hong, Roisman, & Chen, 2006) also present the bases to help
understand when and how multicultural exposure might ignite individuals’ interest in exploring
foreign cultures and when they might reject foreign others. The model of cultural attachment
suggests that when individuals have secured a sense of meaning about their self and their valued
group, their native culture can serve as a secure base of attachment and enable them to explore
novel ideas. They become more receptive to novel perspectives and are more open to others who
are different. But when their sense of security is undermined, they might seek to restore their
feeling of security by rejecting the unfamiliar and shunning the different others away. This
model suggests that developing a sense of security about ones’ own culture might be a buffer for
individuals to open themselves to knowledge from different cultures, whereas the experience of
insecurity or threat might lead individuals to hold on to their own cultures even more strongly
(see Fu, Morris, & Hong, in press). In short, future studies can examine factors that can help
establish and affirm the sense of security, when this sense of security would be undermined, and
how the sense of security or insecurity might result in different multicultural dynamics.
Recent conceptualization of culture from a polyculturalist perspective also helps guide
future research. Polyculturalism presents a network view of culture in which different cultural
traditions interact and influence each other. It recognizes the coexistence of cultural traditions
and the possibility to recombine different cultural elements to generate hybrid culture (Morris et
al., 2015). It embraces cultural learning and adaptation (Prashad, 2001). This dynamic and
pluralistic view diverges from the traditional culturalist perspective, which focuses on the
authenticity and purity of cultural traditions and represents cultures categorically. It is consistent
with our conceptualization of culture as a dynamic shared meaning system that serves to solve
social coordination problems and helps individuals to make sense of their environment. It also
goes beyond understanding of culture and has important policy implications. Policies derived
from a polyculturalist perspective are termed interculturalism. They recognize the dynamic and
complexity of culture. Rather than focusing on cultural purity, they aim to foster interactions and
dialogues between cultures (Morris et al., 2015). Recent research suggested that polyculturalism
is associated with positive intergroup expectation (e.g., Cho, Morris, & Dow, 2014; Bernardo,
Rosenthal, & Levy, 2013; Rosenthal & Levy, 2012). Would promoting polyculturalism and
intercultural policies facilitate intergroup contact? Would they help resolve conflict between
groups with long history of conflicts? How do they interplay with individuals’ personal
characters, beliefs, social status, and identification to shape individuals’ cognition, emotion, and
behaviors in the global villages? Whether and when would they backfire and result in negative
intergroup or interpersonal consequences? In sum, our conceptualization and understanding of
culture could have important implications to interpersonal dynamics, intergroup relations, as well
as social and public policies in our increasingly diverse society (see Morris et al., 2015). These
are all important questions that merit research attention in the future. Given their far-reaching
implications to the individual and the society, there is much room for more interdisciplinary
cooperation to understand the divergent effects of multicultural exposure.
Concluding Thoughts
Although we have learned much about the dynamic interplay between culture, society,
and the individual, and the relationship between multicultural exposure, individuals’ cognitive
flexibility, and implications to the society, there are still much for us to learn and to explore. Our
analyses present the two sides of the multiculturalism coins. Whereas one side suggests that
exposure to multiple cultures can be mind-opening and increase receptiveness to diversity, the
other side shows that that multicultural exposure might hinder social coordination. Awareness of
the divergent impacts of multicultural exposure and the factors that might contribute to these
apparent divergences is important. Although exposure to divergent cultural ideas might enable
individuals to analyze and solve problems from multiple cultural perspectives, perceived
incompatibility and conflicts between cultures might post identity and epistemic threat to
individuals and the collectives that they belong to. This might undermine the sense of security
and have adverse impacts on intercultural dynamics. The major challenges for researchers and
practitioners would be to dissect when and how diverse cultural perspectives might benefit the
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... Low levels of openness to experience are associated with identification with the prevailing social order which supplies norms for existing social values and she or he is resistant to potentially alternative evidence (Perry & Sibley, 2013), and predisposes individuals to detect realistic and symbolic threat to the existing social order (Sibley et al., 2012). Those with higher levels of openness to experience are more likely to hold liberal political views (McCrae & Costa, 1997), value exploration of the unfamiliar and are more receptive to new ideas (Chao et al., 2015), demonstrate greater tolerance for diversity (John et al., 2008), be more willing to consider different perspectives (George & Zhou, 2001), more open to unusual stereotype disconfirming particulars about outgroups (Flynn, 2005;Goclowska et al., 2017) and function effectively when interacting with those who have contrasting cultural backgrounds (Ang et al., 2006). In a multicultural environment such as Australia, these attributes enable high openness to experience individuals to connect with other cultures, make sense of new cultural knowledge, adapt, and generate creative solutions (Chao et al., 2015). ...
... Those with higher levels of openness to experience are more likely to hold liberal political views (McCrae & Costa, 1997), value exploration of the unfamiliar and are more receptive to new ideas (Chao et al., 2015), demonstrate greater tolerance for diversity (John et al., 2008), be more willing to consider different perspectives (George & Zhou, 2001), more open to unusual stereotype disconfirming particulars about outgroups (Flynn, 2005;Goclowska et al., 2017) and function effectively when interacting with those who have contrasting cultural backgrounds (Ang et al., 2006). In a multicultural environment such as Australia, these attributes enable high openness to experience individuals to connect with other cultures, make sense of new cultural knowledge, adapt, and generate creative solutions (Chao et al., 2015). ...
... Cognitive flexibility has also been shown to predict openness to experience (Murdock et al., 2013) with both involving self-efficacy in flexibility (Johnco et al., 2014a). Chao et al. (2015) argued that cognitive flexibility provides high openness to experience individuals with the tools to embrace other cultures and develop adaptive solutions that may facilitate social coordination. ...
Objective: Polyculturalism, a relatively new intergroup ideology conceptualises culture as dynamic by emphasising intergroup connections. Previous research has linked polyculturalism to less negative attitudes towards different racial and ethnic groups. However, the underpinnings of this relationship is not well understood. It was predicted that openness to experience, agreeableness, and cognitive flexibility (alternative and control) would be associated with lower racial and ethnic prejudice and that polyculturalism would mediate these relationships. Method: The sample consisted of 391 undergraduate students and community members who completed a polyculturalism measure, openness to experience and agreeableness scales of the Big Five Aspect Scale, the Cognitive Flexibility Inventory, and the Australian Racism, Acceptance, and Culture-Ethnocentrism Scale. Results: Path analysis indicated openness to experience, agreeableness, and cognitive flexibility (alternative) were each associated with less generalised racial and ethnic prejudice, and that polyculturalism mediated the relationship between openness to experience and prejudice and cognitive flexibility- alternative and prejudice. Conclusion: Polyculturalism may be an important avenue for understanding and reducing racial and ethnic prejudice in a racially and ethnically diverse Australia. Key Points What is already known about this topic: • The traits of openness to experience and agreeableness, and cognitive flexibility are associated with less negative racial and ethnic attitudes. • Polyculturalism is a lay diversity ideology where culture is viewed as a dynamic and evolving system that does not provide the basis for differentiating between groups. Instead of focusing on differences between cultural groups, connections between groups through interactions are emphasised. • Polyculturalism is associated with less negative attitudes towards different racial and ethnic groups among other pro-diversity attitudes. What this topic adds: • This study adds to the limited research into the role of lay diversity ideologies in explaining the relationship between personality and intergroup attitudes. • Openness to experience, agreeableness, and cognitive flexibility (alternative) were each associated with less generalised racial and ethnic prejudice. Polyculturalism mediated the relationship between openness to experience and racial and ethnic prejudice, and the relationship between cognitive flexibility (alternative) and racial and ethnic prejudice. • The Racism Acceptance and Cultural-Ethnocentrism Scale (RACES) is a psychometrically sound measure developed for the Australian context. It is a suitable tool for measuring the effectiveness of interventions for promoting more positive intergroup attitudes.
... Thus, in a multilingual context, multicultural and intercultural exchanges necessarily coexist as language and culture are inextricably related (McConachy, 2018;Diaz, 2013;Byram & Parmenter, 2012). Exposure to, communicating and interacting with individuals holding diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds is a typical setting where students can use and improve their plurilingual and intercultural competencies (Chao et al., 2015). This can take place both inside the classroom when teachers and students are encouraged to interact in more than one language or outside it when local (LSs) and international (ISs) students, for example, interact in more casual ways. ...
This paper explores the various aspects of plurilingual language policies at the University of Turin. An ethnographic document analysis substantiated with a student survey indicate that plurilingual manifestations serve three main themes: (1) a plurilingual curriculum with much emphasis on foreign language competencies across disciplines, (2) plurilingual policies for internationalisation purposes fostering quality education, mobility, employability and networking, and (3) a plurilingual external communication strategy aiming at promoting the university's visibility for a worldwide academic audience. The policies adopted by the university, however, need to be more transparent and further consolidated so that the impact on the student community can be more significant and tangible.
... When cultural attachments are disrupted, this can also interfere with the objects, symbols and rituals that hold meaning to a group of people. It can also disrupt the affective bonds that are often shared between members of a cultural group (Chao, Kung and Yao 2015). While separation from cultural objects and rituals can cause attachment disruption, culture can be internalized and held in one's mental memory network (Hong et al. 2014). ...
The new African diaspora has emerged from the recent migratory movements of Africans. This population is tasked with finding effective methods of adjusting to new environments. Through the psychoanalytic lens of object relations, this article explores the role of religion in shaping migration experiences of the new African diaspora. It considers the psychological processes that intersect with religion to influence migrant adjustment. First, drawing from object relations theory, the role of early relational experiences in shaping self-concept is conveyed. Second, ways are explored in which religious phenomena can support transitional processes within a migration context. Third, the object relations framework is used to review some of the psychological tasks involved in the migration experience (e.g., processing of attachment disruptions, expansion of cultural identity). It is theorized that a migrant’s relationship with the sacred represents a transitional phenomenon that contributes to positive adjustment via a post-migration experience. The article concludes with some practical considerations.
... Although race-related lay theories have drawn increasing research interest in the past two decades (Chao et al., 2016;Chao, Kung, & Yao, 2015;Keller, 2005;Levy, Plaks, Hong, Chiu, & Dweck, 2001;Levy, West, & Ramirez, 2005;Zagefka, Nigbur, Gonzalez, & Tip, 2013), no empirical work directly examines whether social constructionist (vs. essentialist) beliefs influence interracial trust. ...
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Trust serves as the foundation for social harmony and prosperity, but it is not always easy to build. When people see other groups as different, e.g., members of a different race or ethnicity, the perceived boundary often obstructs people from extending trust. This may result in interracial conflicts. The current research argues that individual differences in the lay theory of race can systematically influence the degree to which people extend trust to a racial outgroup in conflict situations. The lay theory of race refers to the extent to which people believe race is a malleable social construct that can change over time (i.e., social constructionist beliefs) versus a fixed essence that differentiates people into meaningful social categories (i.e., essentialist beliefs). In our three studies, we found evidence that social constructionist (vs. essentialist) beliefs promoted interracial trust in intergroup contexts, and that this effect held regardless of whether the lay theory of race was measured (Studies 1 and 3) or manipulated (Study 2), and whether the conflict was presented in a team conflict scenario (Study 1), social dilemma (Study 2), or a face-to-face dyadic negotiation (Study 3). In addition, results revealed that the lay theory's effect on interracial trust could have critical downstream consequences in conflict, namely cooperation and mutually beneficial negotiation outcomes. The findings together reveal that the lay theory of race can reliably influence interracial trust and presents a promising direction for understanding interracial relations and improving intergroup harmony in society.
... This attracted many unto the programme and the University because of someone they can relate to, which gives them a sense of belongingness and mental security, thereby providing a 'safe haven' for the individual. Chao (2015) believed that people are attracted to others in their own culture better than others from a different culture. Hence there is a special relationship between a culture which affects an individual's behaviour. ...
Britain is historically the first country of choice for Nigerian students regarding overseas Higher Education and was the UK's third-largest international student cohort in the UK (Jubb, 2017). There has been an increase in the number of students from non-EU countries coming to the UK to study, and this might be increased due to uncertainties surrounding a potential exit of Brexit. This might lead to a decrease in the number of EU countries, and potentially, a large proportion of those places might be taken up by Nigerian students instead. This research project investigates the concept of internationalisation of the curriculum (IoC) in relation to the capacity that students have to adapt and transition into the UK Higher Education system. This project aims to investigate the sociocultural factors impacting on the transition to Higher Education of Nigerian Nursing Students including language, socio and cultural shock, learning approach, equality, safety and length of the transition period. Most Universities in the UK have developed their internationalisation of curriculum (IoC) that is bespoke to their institution and departments in response to HE policymakers. Therefore, there is no single universally accepted IoC due to content specificity of HE and different demographics in UK HEIs. A qualitative research methodology was used in this research with the use of the interpretive phenomenological approach. Qualitative research data was collected using the LEGO® Serious Play® method to facilitate story making through personal storytelling and metaphor by building a 3-D model resulting in the development of themes to inform the results and subsequent discussion. The participants are composed of alumni international nursing students of Nigerian origin who had undergone the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at a University campus in London. Ethical approval was obtained from the University X, and informed consent was assured from all the participants. Quirkos was used to analyse the collected data and to identify the most salient themes from the results of data collection. The result of the research showed that some of the factors that impact Nigeria students in the UK HEIs are based on their experience back home, which they transferred to their learning in the UK. The fear instilled by Nigerian lecturers back in Nigeria is the most salient factor that impacts Nigerian nursing students transition in the UK HE education due to their sociological background from Nigeria context; followed by the ambiguity of curricula including ambiguity in the articulation of the curriculum because there are some uncertainties in the curriculum which are not in the public domain and these being interpreted by each academics back in Nigeria in the way they feel. Furthermore, other factors include threatening behaviour from Nigerian lecturers, non-supportive Nigerian lecturers, nursing student misuse and lack of IT technology. The factors that impede students learning in the UK HEIs include the transfer of the students fear from Nigeria to the UK Higher Education, weather, cultural shock and the impact of university administration services. Culture and women's self-esteem, immigration- thick red tug of war a metaphorical statement by the participants to represent the problems faced about immigration issues, accommodation, supportive family, financial issues, cultural attachment theory are also some of the important factors that potentially impact upon their successful transition. Other factors include climbing the ladder to transition, completing assignments on the computer, family responsibilities and commitment, compressed assignment timelines as a consequence of bridging module. Also, the gap between taught and self-directed learning/independent learning, repetition of assignment questions and UK practice focused assessments, racism for being black, mode of dressing in the UK and own barriers to learning. The study i experiences have the potential to influence the current pedagogical experience, in accordance with the principles of social constructivism. Finally, it was revealed the transition period of entry to UK education varied between individuals, and these could be between four and six months for a programme that will finish in one year. The recommendations could clearly be delineated into two clear strands, for action at University X. he Assessment submissions are too tightly compressed in terms of their relative timing, increasing the academic teaching personnel ought to be subject to the University dissertation training strategy to enable common ground for all lecturers, to ensure consistency in supervisory capacity across the module. Enveloping different but equal assessment questions for different groups/cohorts to reduce plagiarism and Turnitin similarities, with markers aligning their marking processes to the liminal level Nigerian students studying in the UK can be clearly identified. In terms of interpersonal relationships with stude knowledge, the introduction of mentorship, peer observations, and one-to-one sessions with the constructive criticism are undoubtedly necessary, but this should not become a perceptibly threatening exercise for students. In order to ease the transitions of international students into new contexts and settings, universities ought also to consider increasing recruitment of staff, who have authentically experienced this themselves. By ensuring some representation of lecturing staff from countries other than those represented by the UK, a more authentic approach can be given to the process of student transitions. Also, the universities should recruit more lecturers from a minority background who transition from other countries to the UK. This will ease the transition for students with the aim of co-constructing knowledge with people they can empathise with rather than sympathise with their position and increase the contact hours with students - -directed learning hours need to be reduced. This could help Nigerian international students transition far more easily into the current infrastructures within which they are expected to adjust. Finally, a dedicated university student liaison officer who has good multicultural and international experience should be employed by Universities with the role of easing Nigerian transitions from a sociocultural perspective in addition to tailored academic support.
... It is also 135 noteworthy that the deliberative thinking must also be accompanied with the feeling of On the other hand, cognitive flexibility is another type of controlled processes 138 that helps a religious person to adapt with a pluralistic environment consisting of 139 diverse religious beliefs (Zhong, et al., 2017). Such capacity, while it must also be 140 trained, has been shown to ameliorate the tendency of accentuating intergroup 141 differences through gaining diverse perspectives (Chao, Kung & Yao, 2015). One react aggressively due to their over-reliance on their own's perspective through self-191 schema heuristics (Tiedens, 2004), which is similar to egocentric processing (Stanovich,192 2009). ...
For years, religious tolerance between religious groups has been a critical sociopolitical problem throughout the world. To date, there has been no study that has investigated psychological mechanisms which might underlie the emergence of tolerance in religious people. The purpose of this study is to examine whether the roles of intellectual humility and cognitive flexibility in mediating the relationship between religiosity and religious tolerance are dependent on the levels of aggressiveness. We employed mediation analyses over data of religiosity, intellectual humility, cognitive flexibility, religious tolerance, and aggressiveness from 226 Indonesian-Muslim students to test our predictions. Results showed that intellectual humility and cognitive flexibility significantly mediated the influence of religiosity in increasing religious tolerance. As predicted, intellectual humility was the more potent mediator in religious people who possess a high level of aggressiveness, while cognitive flexibility was the more potent mediator in religious people with a low level of aggressiveness. The aggressiveness of a religious person also determines whether intellectual humility or cognitive flexibility would be an influential factor in increasing his/her religious tolerance. Our findings suggest the importance of developing intellectual humility and cognitive flexibility to promote tolerant behavior among religious people.
... This can be a symptom of some problems in intercultural communication, barriers for information sharing. When individuals face cultural diversity or intercultural contacts and do not know how to cope with the challenges of an interaction, they deviate less from stereotypes and demonstrates rigidity of thinking (Chao et al., 2015); and probably they become less open to a new information. The processes of informal cultural learning can only be effective if students feel safe enough to explore cultural differences (King et al., 2013). ...
We studied the interplay of intercultural competence, intercultural experiences, and creativity among Russian students from Moscow (N = 272). We expected the students from culturally diverse groups, attending the courses on cultural issues, to be more creative. We based our expectation on the idea that cultural diversity and cultural learning are associated with a higher level of intercultural competence that might contribute to students’ creativity. We measured the intercultural experiences by cultural diversity of study groups (a number of foreign students in the groups and the intensity of friendly contacts with them) and by cultural learning (a number of culture-related courses that students attended). We measured creativity by the “Many Instances Game” from the Runco Creativity Assessment Battery (rCAB). We measured intercultural competence by the adapted scale of Fantini and Tirmizi. We discovered positive associations of intercultural experiences in the university with students’ creativity. Such components of intercultural competence as attitudes and skills (the adaptability of behavior), played an important role in the students’ creativity. The attitudes were positive and the skills were negative, related to the creativity. We also revealed that these two components of intercultural competence mediated the relationship between the intercultural experiences and creativity of students. Based on the results, we discussed the factors of the educational environment which may enhance or prohibit creativity.
Human capital is one of the critical resources for organizations around the world, and it requires significant learning and development (L&D) investments as a structured approach to become a learning organization. The study evaluates the relationship between cultural intelligence and learning organization by analyzing 364 responses received from employees-working across Indian organizations from varied sectors. The dimensions used for measuring learning organization in the study are – information sharing and accessibility, systematic problem solving, acceptance of error and experimenting with new approaches. Results demonstrate a significant positive relationship between learning organization and its four dimensions and cultural intelligence. The findings have implications for organizations to inculcate learning organization disciplines for improved cultural intelligence while also bridging the gap in the existing literature.
Mobility experiences in higher education are usually met with great enthusiasm and are often described as sources of (transformative) learning. At the same time, less optimistic perspectives are brought forward by scholars who question the intrinsic value of international mobility in terms of encouraging personal growth and the acquisition of an intercultural and international mindset. In this article, retrospective accounts of Erasmus alumni, gathered several years after their sojourn, are analysed to understand the extent to which engaging in an international exchange during one’s university years can have long-lasting and transformative learning effects. The findings indicate that participating in an Erasmus exchange can indeed enhance personal growth and lead to transformative learning. Such an experience can give rise to significant changes in young people’s future decisions that may involve, for instance, more internationally oriented aspirations, a better understanding of cultural diversity, or an interest in engaging with new international experiences, as a result of the initial Erasmus exchange.
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Changes and developments in the world of information and communication technologies have become an indispensable part of life by expanding the usage areas of social media both in daily life and in business life. Especially in business life people use the qualities they have gained through the opportunities provided by social media in a very effective way. The use of social media has begun to attract more interest and research in the recent period when individuals have discussed their ideas, their way of doing business has been changed and everyone can use their new features. The main purpose of this study is to investigate the factors that are effective in terms of employees and to determine the effect of social media usage, psychological capital, social capital, individual creativity and employee performance on the other. In this context, firstly, domestic and foreign literature on the subject has been scanned and conceptual framework has been formed. As a result of the literature review conducted in detail, the model of the exploratory study has been formed. As a study population, working academics in 7 state universities of 7 cities in Turkey were selected. Then, the PLS-SEM method, one of the structural equation modelling methods of the research model and SmartPLS as statistical analysis software were empirically tested. In order to understand better research model variables, frequency analysis, percentage analysis and difference tests were conducted by using SPSS 22.0 statistical analysis software. The effects of social media usage on psychological capital, social capital, individual creativity, employee performance and the effects of psychological and social capital on individual creativity and employee performance were tested within the scope of the research model. According to the results, the positive effect of social media usage on psychological capital and social capital was determined. The positive effect of social media usage on individual creativity and employee performance was determined through psychological capital. At the same time, the usage of social media has been positively impacted on individual creativity and employee performance through social capital. However, it was concluded that the usage of social media had no significant effect on individual creativity and employee performance. In addition, it has been determined that social media usage, psychological capital, social capital, individual creativity and employee performance differ in terms of some demographic variables. Lastly, in the light of the findings of the research, evaluations and suggestions were made regarding the use of social media.
This study compared the negotiation behaviors of Japanese and U.S. managers in intra- and intercultural settings. Transcripts from an integrative bargaining task were coded and analyzed with ogistic and linear regression. U.S. negotiators exchanged information directly and avoided influence when negotiating intra- and interculturally. Japanese negotiators exchanged information indirectly and used influence when negotiating intraculturally but adapted their behaviors when negotiating interculturally. Culturally normative negotiation behaviors partially account for the lower joint gains generated by intercultural, relative to intracultural, dyads. The behavioral data inform motivational and skill-based explanations for elusive joint gains when cultures clash.
This study tested whether priming of cultural symbols activates cultural behavioral scripts and thus the corresponding behaviors, and also whether the behaviors activated are context-specific. Specifically, to activate the cultural knowledge of Chinese-American bicultural participants, we primed them with Chinese cultural icons or American cultural icons. In the control condition, we showed them geometric figures. Then, the participants played the Prisoner's Dilemma game with friends or strangers (the context manipulation). As expected, participants showed more cooperation toward friends when Chinese cultural knowledge was activated than when American cultural knowledge was activated. By contrast, participants showed a similarly low level of cooperation toward strangers after both Chinese and American culture priming. These findings not only support previous evidence on culture priming of social judgment and self-construals, but also (a) provide the first evidence for the effects of culture priming on behaviors and (b) demonstrate the boundary condition of culture priming.
How can apparently civilized individuals behave compassionately toward members of their own group but cruelly toward members of outgroups? Social psychological explanations suggest that antagonistic intergroup behavior is motivated by realistic intergroup conflict (Sherif & Sherif, 1953) and by gains for one’s social identity (Tajfel, 1981). An important channel through which these motivations are held to work is by promoting the growth of stereotypes that denigrate outgroups.
Norms, spoken or implicit, regulate much of our social life. They are social control devices evolved to coordinate human activities in collective living (Fiske, 2000; Heylighen & Campbell, 1995). In this chapter, focusing on the social regulatory functions of cultural norms and using collective responsibility attribution as an example, we will discuss the role of norms, which are major components of knowledge tradition, in cultural processes. Culture as shared representations. Similar to other forms of knowledge representations (such as lay theories, see Chapter 2, this volume; and intersubjective values, see Chapter 3, this volume), social norms are knowledge representations that are shared among individuals within a collective. They provide premises in normative social inferences (e.g., inferences about whether a certain action should be carried out) and define the normative standards of behavior (e.g., determine whether a certain behavior is punishable or forgivable in the eyes of the public).
The fundamental phenomenon of human closed-mindedness is treated in this volume. Prior psychological treatments of closed-mindedness have typically approached it from a psychodynamic perspective and have viewed it in terms of individual pathology. By contrast, the present approach stresses the epistemic functionality of closed-mindedness and its essential role in judgement and decision-making. Far from being restricted to a select group of individuals suffering from an improper socialization, closed-mindedness is something we all experience on a daily basis. Such mundane situational conditions as time pressure, noise, fatigue, or alcoholic intoxication, for example, are all known to increase the difficulty of information processing, and may contribute to one's experienced need for nonspecific closure. Whether constituting a dimension of stable individual differences, or being engendered situationally - the need for closure, once aroused, is shown to produce the very same consequences. These fundamentally include the tendency to 'seize' on early, closure-affording 'evidence', and to 'freeze' upon it thus becoming impervious to subsequent, potentially important, information. Though such consequences form a part of the individual's personal experience, they have significant implications for interpersonal, group and inter-group phenomena as well. The present volume describes these in detail and grounds them in numerous research findings of theoretical and 'real world' relevance to a wide range of topics including stereotyping, empathy, communication, in-group favouritism and political conservatism. Throughout, a distinction is maintained between the need for a nonspecific closure (i.e., any closure as long as it is firm and definite) and needs for specific closures (i.e., for judgments whose particular contents are desired by an individual). Theory and research discussed in this book should be of interest to upper level undergraduates, graduate students and faculty in social, cognitive, and personality psychology as well as in sociology, political science and business administration.