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Since much of the empirical work within Positive Psychology has taken place in English-speaking Western countries, there is concern that the resulting concepts and theories of well-being reflect a bias towards Western (and more specifically Englishinfluenced) ways of thinking. However, efforts are underway in the field to enhance its intercultural sensitivity, including in relation to studying cross-cultural diversity in emotional experience and understanding. In that respect, the current article focuses on the notion of rasmia, a Spanish term denoting drive and tenacity in achieving a goal. The research aims to explore the beliefs and conceptions that Spanish people have regarding rasmia. An on-line survey of Spanish residents revealed that rasmia was defined as incorporating eagerness, strength, activeness, courage, tenacity and gracefulness. A second study, conducted in order to determine the degree of agreement with this definition, showed an 80% of agreement. The results highlight the value of engaging with non-English concepts like rasmia.
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Vol.:(0123456789)
Journal of Happiness Studies
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-019-00104-y
1 3
RESEARCH PAPER
An Exploration oftheSpanish Cultural Term Rasmia:
ACombination ofEagerness, Strength, Activeness, Courage,
Tenacity andGracefulness
M.DoloresMerino1· MartaVelázquez1· TimLomas2
© Springer Nature B.V. 2019
Abstract
Since much of the empirical work within Positive Psychology has taken place in English-
speaking Western countries, there is concern that the resulting concepts and theories of
well-being reflect a bias towards Western (and more specifically English-influenced) ways
of thinking. However, efforts are underway in the field to enhance its intercultural sensitiv-
ity, including in relation to studying cross-cultural diversity in emotional experience and
understanding. In that respect, the current article focuses on the notion of rasmia, a Span-
ish term denoting drive and tenacity in achieving a goal. The research aims to explore the
beliefs and conceptions that Spanish people have regarding rasmia. An on-line survey of
Spanish residents revealed that rasmia was defined as incorporating eagerness, strength,
activeness, courage, tenacity and gracefulness. A second study, conducted in order to
determine the degree of agreement with this definition, showed an 80% of agreement. The
results highlight the value of engaging with non-English concepts like rasmia.
Keywords Rasmia· Energy· Eagerness· Strength· Courage· Gracefulness
1 The Value ofCross‑Cultural Research
Psychology Psychology (PP) has been accused of Western-centricity, being shaped by the
predominantly Western contexts in which it has developed, and more specifically being
influenced by English-speaking countries such as the United States (Becker and Marecek
2008; Diener and Suh 2000; Joshanloo 2014). Indeed, this criticism has been levelled at
“mainstream” psychology more generally—i.e., the field as a global endeavour, with inter-
national journals and conferences to which scholars from all over the world contribute. In
* M. Dolores Merino
lolamerino@psi.ucm.es
Marta Velázquez
mvelaz02@ucm.es
1 Department ofSocial, Work andDifferential Psychology, Universidad Complutense de Madrid,
Facultad de Psicología, Campus de Somosaguas, 28223PozueloDeAlarcón,Madrid, Spain
2 University ofEast London, London, UK
M.D.Merino et al.
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being studied and practised across the globe, psychology has of course been influenced by
the specific cultural contexts in which this scholarship has taken place. However, the inter-
national dominance of the United States during the latter half of the 20th century has meant
that psychology as studied and practised there has been exported globally, to the extent
it now constitutes the hegemonic “mainstream” of the discipline (Danziger 2006). That
is, language, ideas, theories, methods and priorities associated with American psychology
have come to dominate the field internationally. Furthermore, much of the empirical work
in psychology generally—and PP specifically—has involved participants described by
Henrich etal. (2010) asWEIRD (belonging to societies that are Western, Educated, Indus-
trialised, Rich and Democratic). Many researchers themselves are likewise in such con-
texts, which inevitably influences their perception and interpretation of the mind. To give
an example that is especially relevant here, English is the default language in the field, and
as extensive research on the ‘linguistic relativity hypothesis’ has shown, this linguistic bias
shapes people’s psychological functioning (Lucy 1996). Although academia has devel-
oped methodologies to redress this bias—such as encouraging reflexivity in qualitative
paradigms (Finlay and Gough 2003)—the field is still biased towards English-influenced
and Western ways of thinking and understanding life (e.g., its emphasis on individualism).
As such, one can argue that the field would benefit from developing greater cross-cultural
engagement, awareness, and understanding (Lomas 2015).
In fact, the field is already attempting to develop in this way (Lee etal. 2013; Lu and
Gilmour 2004; Lu 2008). An example is Lomas’s (2016) Positive Lexicography Project,
an evolving glossary of ‘untranslatable’ words (i.e., terms which lack an exact equivalent
in English). According to Lomas (2016) such words offer windows into other cultures, as
they identify phenomena that have only been recognized in such cultures. Moreover, incor-
porating ideas from other cultures can help fill gaps in our vocabulary and give names
to those subjective experiences that are difficult to explain. As such, the project aims to
develop a more intercultural view of well-being by increasing our understanding of it,
thereby expanding the emotional vocabulary of speakers of all languages and so enrich-
ing their experiences of well-being. In the paper establishing the basis of the lexicography,
Lomas (2016) collected 216 untranslatable words relating to wellbeing. Using an adapted
version of Grounded Theory, these were grouped into three broad categories—each com-
prising two subcategories—namely, feelings (positive and ambivalent), relationships (love
and pro-sociality), and character (resources and spirituality).
Thus, the category of feelings includes positive feelings and more complex ambivalent
feelings. Positive feelings features a spectrum of words that pertain to positive affect, such
as the Greek term me yia, a blessing to the good health of others. On the other hand, com-
plex feelings are a dialectical mixture of positive and negative states of the mind, but which
are nevertheless integral to flourishing, as if one could not live fully without being able
to experience them. In this group we find the Indonesian word belum, which means ‘not
yet,’ with an optimistic tone that an event could still happen. The second category of rela-
tionship thus encompasses love and pro-sociality. Love includes words that reflect close
relationships of different strengths, from friendship to more intense feelings of love, such
as the Greek philotimo, denoting the respect and honor one has for one’s friends. On the
other hand, pro-sociality reflects connections with others more broadly. Words here include
ubuntu of the Bantu Nguni language, which translates as “humanity towards others” and
refers to the notion of being kind to others because of one’s common humanity. Finally,
the category of character reflects the idea that well-being not only implies positive feelings
and nurturing relationships, but also personal development. This section is divided into two
categories. First, resources, which refers to the qualities and skills that help a person to live
An Exploration oftheSpanish Cultural Term Rasmia: ACombination…
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well. This includes attributes related to perseverance or grit, such as the Finnish term sisu,
defined as an energy reserve that allows extraordinary action to overcome a challenging
mental or physical situation. Secondly spirituality, with terms implying that deeper forms
of well-being are found through psycho-spiritual development. Thus includes words like
the Russian duša, which refers to the heart and inner soul.
Subsequent to the publication of this initial paper, the lexicography has expanded to
nearly 1000 words, mainly through contributions to a website created to host the project
and to serve as a platform to allow crowd-sourced suggestions (www.drtim lomas .com/
lexic ograp hy). However, the basic thematic structure of the initial analysis has remained in
place. Consequently, each of the six subcategories has had its own analysis devoted to it—
positive feelings (Lomas 2017), ambivalent feelings (Lomas 2018e), love (Lomas 2018c),
prosociality, resources (Lomas 2018d), and spirituality (2018b)—together with a more gen-
eral theoretical analysis of the significance of untranslatable words (Lomas 2018a). Moreo-
ver, the project is a work in progress, with analyses ongoing. In particular, besides the more
overarching analyses cited above, an important aspect of this kind of cross-cultural research
is in-depth studies into specific concepts, as for example Scheibe et al. (2007) did with
respect to the German term Sehnsucht, which describes an ‘addition’ to, or predilection for,
utopian longing. Hence, the present study, which is an analysis of the Spanish cultural term
rasmia. Spain of course is generally regarded as a Western country, notwithstanding the
non-Western influences that have historically shaped it, such as Moorish culture (Fletcher
2006). However, as a non-English language, it offers a useful counterpoint to the English-
centric nature of mainstream psychology. As such, it potentially contains items of inter-
est not found within English, and hence the field itself, including this concept of rasmia.
Rooted in the Aragon and Navarre culture in Spain, according to the Royal Academy of the
Spanish Language (www.RAE.es) it is defined as the impetus and determination to under-
take a goal. It derives from the Arabic term rasmiyya, meaning vigor and rapidity when
walking. With regard to the classification offered by Lomas (2016), rasmia would fall into
the category of resources. Although rasmia is part of the conventional conversation within
the Aragonese and Navarre populations, almost no empirical study has been carried out to
explore it as a possible psychological resource, hence the value of the current study.
2 Objectives
The study’s objectives at a qualitative level are to: (1) analyze the way in which Spanish
residents conceptualize rasmia and endow it with meaning, (2) identify the categories or
dimensions that form part of the term, and (3) establish a citable definition of rasmia for
the field of psychology. At a quantitative level, the objectives are: (4) explore the degree
of importance that the categories, identified in objective 2 have for rasmia (5) contrast the
degree of agreement-disagreement with the proposed definition of rasmia.
3 Method
To respond to these objectives, a mixed methodology was applied (Creswell 2013): Quali-
tative, in order to respond to objectives 1, 2 and 3, and quantitative for objectives 4 and 5.
Through this mixed methodology we want to fulfil the criteria of scientific rigor proposed
by Davies and Dodd (2002).Therefore, the research was structured in two studies.
M.D.Merino et al.
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4 Study 1
4.1 Method
To answer the objectives of 1–3, a qualitative methodology was used. According to
Guardián-Fernández (2010) some of the characteristics of qualitative research versus
quantitative research are: First, it is inductive, i.e. bottom-up, going from data to theory,
rather than the other way round, non-hypothesis, or any kind of “a priori”. We want to
investigate how rasmia is given meaning by the people who know and use it. Therefore,
we do not start from any premise, but try to arrive at it, based on the subjects’ percep-
tions of it. Second, it is based on generation, and not on verification, that is to say, it is
based on the analysis of applied technique (focus group, in-depth interview, text analy-
sis, etc.), whereby we seek to discover categories, patterns or constructs that have a
certain transferability. In our study, based on the definitions given, we want to discover
the fundamental dimensions or categories that give meaning to rasmia. Third, related to
the previous point, qualitative research does not enumerate, but builds categories, con-
structs, that emerge from the analysis of the data. Our ultimate goal is to construct, from
the information obtained, a definition of rasmia, that responds to the way the people
who use it in their daily lives understand it.
In line with what has been explained, we used a phenomenological perspective. The
phenomenological approach is characteristic of qualitative methodology (Flick 2009;
Guardián-Fernández 2010) and refers to the study of the phenomenon in question, as
experienced, interpreted and given meaning by the people involved. In our case, what
interests us is to capture the meanings that people who know and use the term rasmia
attribute to it.
4.1.1 Participants
The sample consisted of 487 participants, of whom 260 knew the term rasmia, although
255 provided a definition of it. Of these 260, there were 162 women and 98 men, 134
participants were from Aragon and 108 from Navarre, and 18 participants came from
other autonomous communities. The mean age is 34.23years (SD = 13.79). In relation
to marital status, 25% of the sample were single, 67.3% were partnered, 6.2% divorced
and 1.5% widowed. With regard to education level, 23.8% had Bachelor’s Degrees,
19.6% Graduated, 18.5% had Professional Training, 8.5% Graduated, 8.1% Baccalaure-
ate, 7.7% had Ph.D. and the remaining were other option. With regard to the employ-
ment situation, 60.4% were employed, 11.5% were unemployed, 9.6% were students,
7.7% were students and employees, 6.5% were retirees and the remaining percentage
were people working in the home and not looking for work, or were disabled.
4.1.2 Ethical Considerations
All participants were informed that their responses were anonymous and their consent
was requested to use the results for research purposes. All participants read and sign the
informed consent.
An Exploration oftheSpanish Cultural Term Rasmia: ACombination…
1 3
4.1.3 Procedure andInstrument
The sample was recruited through advertisements on social networks and through email
lists. The instrument used was an online questionnaire created through the Google Docs
platform, with 9 questions (see Table1): seven dichotomous and rank order scaling
questions related to socio-demographic data (sex, age, educational level, etc.) as well as
geographical location. There was a filter question to identify the participants who knew
the term rasmia, and an open ended question, addressed only to those who knew it, and
that was the object of the qualitative analysis: How would you define rasmia?
4.1.4 Data Analysis: Qualitative Analysis Strategy
In order to analyze the 255 definitions of rasmia provided by the participants, we fol-
lowed the steps proposed by the majority of authors and summarized in three stages:
(1) Transcription of texts, (2) categorization and codification, (3) interpretation (Flick
2009; Guardián-Fernández 2010; Ibáñez 1979). In our case, we used the Thematic Net-
work tool proposed by Attride-Stirling (2001) for the analysis of texts that consists of
three phases: (1) identification of basic themes, (2) organization of basic themes (organ-
izing theme), and (3) identification of the global theme (global theme). The adaptation
of this technique to our concrete case was done as follows: (1) for the identification of
the basic themes: (1.1) reading and re-reading of the 255 definitions of rasmia given by
the participants. (1.2) Identification in each definition of the key point; That is, those
who in the first place, contributed meaning to each of the 255 definitions given. For
example, one of the definitions was: “Courage to take action” (definition 40). In this
case, the basic theme is courage, as it contributes significantly and gives meaning to
the term rasmia. Obviously, a definition can have more than one key point. (2) For the
organization of subjects: (2.1) comparison of similarities and differences between the
meanings of the different basic themes found according to the Dictionary of the Royal
Academy of the Spanish Language (www.RAE.es). (2.2) Construction of categories
based on the similarities found in the basic terms. The category was coded with the
most repeated term (Flick 2009). (3) Global theme: by means of hermeneutical analysis,
the interpretation and relationship of the categories were made to come to a definition
of rasmia (see Table2).
Table 1 Survey items 1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
Age
Sex (dichotomous)
Educational level (rank order scaling)
Marital status (rank order scaling)
Employment situation (rank order scaling)
Autonomous community (rank order scaling)
Do you know what is rasmia? (dichotomous)
If said yes, how would you define rasmia?
Is rasmia anything more?
M.D.Merino et al.
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4.2 Results
4.2.1 Identication ofBasic Topics andOrganization inCategories
We analyzed the 255 definitions of rasmia, following the steps indicated in the section
of Qualitative Analysis Strategy, and identified six categories that we describe below
and that for reasons of expository clarity, we treat independently. However, rasmia can
also be considered as a whole, in which the six categories are an indissoluble part, as
will be seen in the following section.
The first category that emerged was eagerness, which in this context means the will
and the motivation to do something (www.RAE.es). Equivalent words such as will,
motivation and disposition are included in this category. Other related terms, which we
include in this category are: decision, undertaking, initiative, entrepreneurship, resolu-
tion. They all share the meaning of preparing for motivated action.
The second category found was strength, which refers to the energy or vigor with
which the action is undertaken (www.RAE.es). This group includes synonyms such
as: thrust, energy, vigor, guts, force, vitality. Other words, very similar to strength
that appeared in the definitions of rasmia are: effort, intensity, impulse, endurance,
hardness.
Closely related to strength, we identified a third category called activeness which
includes strength and vigor, but denoting character and speed in the performance of the
action. We include in this group the following terms: impetus, agility, rapidity, verve,
vividness, alertness, quickness.
The fourth category was courage, which means bravery with which challenging
tasks are undertaken. Equivalent terms that we have included in this category are: self-
love, guts, boldness, daring, overcoming, determination.
The fifth category was tenacity, which alludes to persistence in action until achiev-
ing the proposed goal. Terms that are included in this category are: persistence, perse-
verance, constancy and insistence.
The sixth category was gracefulness, understood as natural dexterity in the execu-
tion of task, and that includes terms like: grace, fluency, panache, dexterity, efficiency,
skill, ease.
Once the categories that are part of the term rasmia have been identified, we devel-
oped a qualitative analysis of the interconnections between the categories in order to
understand in depth the meaning of rasmia.
Table 2 Qualitative analysis strategy
1. Identification of basic
themes
Reading and re-reading the
definitions
Identification in each
definition of the key point
2. Organizing the basic
themes
Comparison of similarities
and differences between the
basic themes
Construction of categories
based on the similarities
3. Identification of the
global theme
The interpretation and
relationship of the categories
To come to a definition of
rasmia
An Exploration oftheSpanish Cultural Term Rasmia: ACombination…
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4.2.2 Structuring ofCategories
An hermeneutic analysis of the term rasmia was carried out (Lindseth and Norberg
2004). From the qualitative analysis of the 255 definitions of rasmia, we can infer that
rasmia is a compendium of qualities in interaction which form a whole. To understand
this construct in depth, we will dissect it and account for all its components, although,
as just discussed, rasmia is a whole concept unto itself.
First, rasmia emerges from the eagerness and determination to do something: eager-
ness, because there is a clear will to undertake an action, and determination, because
there is conviction to start the task, and a strong desire to bring it to a close. Some
examples are:
“You eager to do things in a convincing way” (definition 99); “Rage, but well
focused, with strong motivation to do something” (definition 148); “You eager
to achieve something” (definition 116); “Willingness to undertake an activity,
strongly, industriously, also having rasmia is equivalent to having guts, a push to
do something” (definition 47).
Therefore, in rasmia there is a clear component of intrinsic motivation aimed at
achieving a goal both in the short and the long term, and that can be quite varied: from
painting a table to writing a novel or learning to play an instrument. Example: “If you
see a person who works thoroughly clearly, decisively, firmly, without hesitation and
without fuss, you will say that he does it with “rasmia” (definition 27).
Regardless of the task, that motivation and determination are characterized by being
full of energy, having strength and drive to undertake and carry out the work. We find
these terms are very repetitious in the definitions of rasmia. Examples include: “‘guts’,
push, force to do something” (definition 30); “Internal energy. Spirit, and impulse in
action “(definition 35); “Vitality, push, energy” (definition 44).
The energy, strength and thrust with which the task is carried out also contribute a
great deal of action during the execution of the task, reflecting: activeness, dynamism,
vividness and speed of performance. This is reflected in the definitions: “Energy which
a person has, to perform a task or activity (e.g.: “What rasmia he has to sweep!”)” (defi-
nition 18); “Activeness, vitality, energy” (definition 20); “Do something with eager and
energy” (definition 146).
In addition, when the task is physically or intellectually challenging, that force is
nourished with courage, gallantry and determination to undertake the goal. Examples:
“Courage, strength of will, power of decision, with strength” (definition 75); “Courage,
commitment, interest in getting or gaining something” (definition 141).
Another of the defining components of rasmia is tenacity, constancy, persistence, and
even obsession in achieving the goal. In short, it is not to give up on the effort until we
have finished what was started. Examples include: “It is determination to do something”
(definition 5); “Tenacity to get something” (definition 17); “Motivation to continue with
a job or task” (definition 128); “Moving forward with motivation and desire to achieve
an objective” (definition 126).
In addition, in rasmia, tenacity is accompanied by self-love to overcome when the
task implies courage and valor. Examples: “Courage, self-love, tenacity to undertake an
action” (definition 199); “It’s anger, it’s intensity, it’s attempting things over and over,
it’s showing the world that you can”; “Resolve, self-improvement, tenacity” (definition
12); “Self-love, push to do something” (definition 38).
M.D.Merino et al.
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It is also necessary to say that the intrinsic motivation present in rasmia facilitates the
person to capitalize on his skills during the execution of the task, thus manifesting grace-
ful-perfection with attitude. This is reflected in the definitions: “Capacity with which some-
one performs a task with energy and eagerness. Quickly and with gracefulness” (definition
222); “Ability to do things with gracefulness, with lightness and eagerness” (definition 55).
We find that sometimes rasmia is defined in a negative sense and is taken from the
phrase “How little rasmia you have!” to define a passive, indolent, lazy attitude, lack-
ing energy and vitality in the accomplishment of what is being done, which, in addition,
implies very low commitment and involvement with what one does and a high disinter-
est. Examples: “With little activeness to do things, or even vagueness” (definition 72);
“When you are disheartened or do things in any which way, we say: “How little rasmia you
have.”(definition 13).
Another issue implicitly stated by the definitions is that rasmia can be a trait or state: it
is state insofar as a person can manifest rasmia to perform a certain type of task, but not for
others. Example: “I have it when the task motivates me and when my skills match what is
required” (definition 24). It is a trait, in describing the profile of a determined, confident,
energetic, proactive, and brave, a fighter; a person with coping ability. He does things with
eagerness, with enthusiasm, with joy, and giving the maximum to make him the best pos-
sible, and not being overcome by difficulties and persisting in achieving his goals. It is,
therefore, also a way of being that describes the way in which one relates to his environ-
ment. Examples:
“I have rasmia because I was born with it” (definition 56); “Gracefulness with atti-
tude, drive to do things and undertake any venture” (definition 130); “Faculty to do
things with determination, gracefulness and strength” (definition 166); “… it is a
vital attitude for everything, it is the state of being more active, more decisive, more
energetic” (definition 156).
We must also say that although anyone can have rasmia, it is a term used mainly in the
communities of Aragon and Navarre. In fact, in our study, it is only people belonging to
these communities who know the term. We understand then, that rasmia is a cultural term
linked to these geographical zones, which describes the Aragon and Navarre character, and
that, consequently, is expressed in its folkloric dance, the Jota. Examples:
“Race, the way of being of the Aragon people”; “The decided mood. The momen-
tum, without surrendering. The haughty attitude that is transmitted through the body
language of dancers of the Jota: hands on the hips and head held high. Miguel Angel
Berna, a dancer from Aragon, has performed a show called rasmia. When you ask
your dancers for attitude and character, say “RASMIA please!” (definition 210).
We observe, then, that rasmia is a complex construct in which different factors intervene
that do not act alone, but are interrelated.
4.3 Conclusions
Our data indicate that rasmia is a cultural term specific to Aragon and Navarre, because
it is in these Autonomous Communities where the people who know and use the term are
located. In our sample, of the 260 people who claim to know the term, all live or have lived
in Aragon or Navarre.
An Exploration oftheSpanish Cultural Term Rasmia: ACombination…
1 3
The qualitative analysis has shown that rasmia is a multidimensional construct formed
by six categories: (1) the desire or motivation to undertake an action, (2) the strength
or energy to develop it, (3) the activeness to imprint character and for the action to flow
quickly, (4) the tenacity to achieve it, (5) the gracefulness to execute it, and (6) the courage,
if the action is challenging.
In conclusion, and in concordance with the analysis, we can understand and define ras-
mia as a strong will and desire to reach an objective, which is sustained by an internal
energy that allows a person: to develop the action in an agile and decisive way, making the
most of his skills, and showing courage when the goal is physically or mentally challeng-
ing; and to persist in action no matter what it takes to achieve the goal. In addition, rasmia
can be a trait or a state.
5 Study 2
With this study we wanted to respond to objectives 3 and 4 which are: (3) to analyze the
degree of importance that the categories found have for the definition of the term rasmia,
(4) to contrast the degree of agreement-disagreement with the proposed definition. In
response to these objectives, we were able to triangulate the results obtained in the qual-
itative analysis and thus fulfill the trustworthiness of criteria proposed by Guba (1981):
credibility (the truth value of research, in the sense of being believable); transferability
(the degree to which the results of research can be applied to other subjects or contexts);
dependability (the stability of the data and its replicability); and confirmability (alludes to
neutrality).
5.1 Method
5.1.1 Participants
The sample consisted of 692 participants, 503 of whom knew the term rasmia, 355 being
women and 148 men. 364 participants were from Aragon and 109 from Navarre, and 30
participants came from other autonomous communities, but had lived in Aragon or Nav-
arre. The mean age is 40.07years (SD = 11.8). Regarding marital status, 23.9% of the sam-
ple were single, 69% were partnered, 6% divorced and 1.2% widowed. Regarding the level
of education, 17.3% had a degree, 14.7% had a Diploma, 24.5% had completed Vocational
Training, 9.9% Graduated, 9.3% Baccalaureate, 4% were Ph.D., and the remaining were
other option. With regard to the employment situation, 65.2% were employed, 13.7% were
unemployed, 6.2% were students, 7.2% were students and employees, 4.2% were retired
and the remaining percentage were either people working in the home and not looking for
work, or disabled.
5.1.2 Ethical Considerations
All participants were informed that their responses were anonymous and their consent
was requested to use their results for research purposes. All participants read and sign the
informed consent.
M.D.Merino et al.
1 3
5.1.3 Procedure andInstrument
The sampling was recruited through advertisements on social networks and through
email lists. The instrument used was an online questionnaire created through the Google
Docs platform, with 37 questions, plus a filter question to identify the participants who
knew the term rasmia.
Of the 37, 16 were dichotomous and rank order scaling questions, 13 were Likert
type with 5 points and 8 were open-ended questions. The dichotomous and the rank
order scaling questions referred to socio-demographic data (sex, age, educational level,
etc.) and the Likert-type questions to the degree of importance of the category for the
rasmia concept, as well as to the extent to which the terms included in the category
belonged to the same. For example: The second category was “strength” Within this we
include terms such as: thrust, energy, vigor, stamina, effort, intensity, momentum, hard-
ness. To what extent do you consider this category is important for the term rasmia? To
what extent do you agree that the terms mentioned are part of strength?
5.2 Results andDiscussion
The results show that in general, the categories identified in the qualitative analysis are
considered important elements for the definition of rasmia (see Tables3 and 4). The
averages of all of them are between 3 and 4 on a scale of 1–5, with activeness measure-
ment being the highest, followed by strength. The median in all dimensions is 4, except
Table 3 Descriptive statistics of the importance of each category in the definition of rasmia
Eagerness Strength Activeness Courage Tenacity Gracefulness
Mean 3.59 3.82 4.05 3.40 3.17 3.35
Median 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 3.00 4.00
Mode 4 4 5 4 3 4
SD 1.102 1.090 1.059 1.251 1.271 1.335
Skewness − .570 − .770 − 1.112 − .365 − .158 − .330
Kurtosis − .209 − .045 .776 − .840 − .992 − 1.06
Table 4 Percentages of the
degree of importance of each
category in the definition of
rasmia (5 very important; 1
completely unimportant)
Dimensions Percentages
54321
Eagerness 22.6 34.3 28.7 8.7 5.7
Strength 31.9 34.9 21 8.3 4
Activeness 43 31.3 17.8 4 4
Courage 23.2 26.9 25.9 14.5 9.5
Tenacity 18 24.4 26.7 18.6 12.3
Gracefulness 25 25.5 21 16.4 12.1
An Exploration oftheSpanish Cultural Term Rasmia: ACombination…
1 3
in that of tenacity which is 3, and the standard deviation in all of them is between values
1 and 1.4, which shows little dispersion in the participants answers (see Table3).
The results show, in general, that there is an agreement in the terms that make up
each dimension (see Tables5 and 6). The averages of the dimensions are between 3 and
3.7 on a scale of 1–5, with a median of 4 for Eagerness, Strength and Activeness; and
3 for Courage, Tenacity and Grace. Typical deviations are between 1.093 and 1.262,
which show little dispersal in participants’ responses (see Table6).
Table7 shows the descriptive statistics of the degree of agreement according to the
definition of rasmia; 86.1% of the participants agreed with the definition of rasmia. The
average is 4.03 on a scale of 1–5, with a median of 4, indicating that there is a high
Table 5 Descriptive statistics of the degree of agreement in which the terms form part of each category
Eagerness Strength Activeness Courage Tenacity Gracefulness
N
Valid 505 505 505 505 505 505
Lost 0 0 0 0 0 0
Mean 3.33 3.54 3,70 3.22 3.10 3.15
Median 3.00 4.00 4,00 3.00 3.00 3.00
Mode 4 4 4 3 3 3
SD 1.162 1.144 1.093 1.237 1.262 1.236
Skewness − .406 − .470 − .750 − .182 − .070 − .162
Kurtosis − .562 − .489 .102 − .908 − .976 − .914
Table 6 Percentage of degree
of agreement that terms are part
of each category (5 completely
agree; 1 completely disagree)
Dimensions Percentages
54321
Eagerness 16 32.3 29.7 12.9 9.1
Strength 23.2 30.9 28.5 11.3 6.1
Activeness 25.3 37.4 25 6.5 5.7
Courage 18.2 24.8 28.5 18 10.5
Tenacity 16.6 22 28.7 19.8 12.9
Gracefulness 15.8 25.5 28.3 18.4 11.9
Table 7 Descriptive statistics of
the degree of agreement with the
definition of rasmia
N
Valid 435
Lost 70
Mean 4.03
Median 4.00
Mode 4
SD .868
Skewness − .921
Kurtosis 1.250
M.D.Merino et al.
1 3
degree of agreement with the definition. The standard deviation is .868, reflecting that
there is a high degree of agreement in participants’ responses and little dispersal.
Comparing the differences in means among the importance attributed to the components
of rasmia, we observe there are differences in all cases, except when comparing Courage
and Gracefulness. On the other hand, it should be noted that the effect sizes (Cohen’s d) are
low or medium in all cases (seeTable8).
6 General Discussion
The results of our investigation indicate that the construct rasmia is formed by six cat-
egories, and that according to participants, all are important and central to its definition.
These are: eagerness, strength, activeness, courage, tenacity and grace. It should be noted,
however, that the category of tenacity is considered the least important. Among the reasons
given by the participants for this question is that tenacity has a nuance of perseverance
that separates it from the immediacy of rasmia. Also, this study shows that there is a high
degree of agreement in the terms that make up each category as well as in the definition of
rasmia, being more than 80%.
This study is the first to introduce and explore rasmia as a psychological resource.
Of course, readers may note that rasmia appears to share conceptual affinities with
established psychological concepts such as grit, which Duckworth et al. (2007) define
as “passion and perseverance for long-term goals” (p. 1087). However, even if there are
overlaps and similarities, that does not mean that these constructs are equivalent or syn-
onymous. As set out in Lomas’s (2018a) theory of “experiential cartography,” words can
be viewed as delineating or circumscribing specific regions within the ‘territory’ of our
experiential world—which includes the internal world of subjectivity (of feelings etc.),
the external world of objective objects/processes, and the conceptual world (of ideas
Table 8 Paired T test: differences in rasmia components
Pair Mean of the
differences
95% confidence
interval
t df p d
Eagerness-Strength − .232 − .341 − .123 − 4.169 504 < .001 .186
Eagerness-Activeness − .461 − .571 − .352 − 8.305 504 < .001 .370
Eagerness-Courage .194 .066 .323 2.967 504 .003 .132
Eagerness-Tenacity .420 .298 .542 6.776 504 < .001 .302
Eagerness-Gracefulness .244 .109 .379 3.546 504 < .001 .158
Strength-Activeness − .230 − .339 − .121 − 4.146 504 < .001 .185
Strength-Courage .426 .313 .538 7.449 504 < .001 .332
Strength-Tenacity .651 .531 .772 10.615 504 < .001 .473
Strength-Gracefulness .475 .330 .621 6.417 504 < .001 .286
Activeness-Courage .655 .531 .780 10.323 504 < .001 .460
Activeness-Tenacity .881 .745 1.018 12.671 504 < .001 .564
Activeness-Gracefulness .705 .587 .823 11.71 504 < .001 .521
Courage-Tenacity .226 .119 .332 4.163 504 < .001 .185
Courage-Gracefulness .050 − .109 .208 .612 504 .541 –
Tenacity-Gracefulness − .176 − .329 − .024 − 2.268 504 .024 .101
An Exploration oftheSpanish Cultural Term Rasmia: ACombination…
1 3
etc.). A word can be deemed untranslatable if it does not precisely overlap with the ter-
ritory delineated by a word in one’s own language. In that sense, according to Lomas,
there are at least three types of untranslatability: overlap-based untranslatability (where
the territory delineated by a foreign word overlaps with that delineated by a word in
one’s own language); specificity-based untranslatability (where the territory deline-
ated by a foreign word is narrower than, and encompassed within, that delineated by a
word in one’s own language); and generality-based untranslatability (where the territory
delineated by a foreign word is wider than, and encompasses, that delineated by a word
in one’s own language). With respect to grit, one could argue that rasmia represents a
case of overlap-based untranslatability, in that it shares some features in common, and
yet has its own distinct elements that makes it not-reducible to grit, nor indeed to other
related constructs such as resilience (Windle 2011) or hardiness (Maddi and Khoshaba
1994). Indeed, one of the premises of Lomas’s lexicographic project is that the nomo-
logical network in psychology will be enhanced through more granular and fine-grained
conceptualisation of constructs—even those that, from a certain level of generality, are
quite similar. That is, although concepts such as rasmia, grit, resilience, and hardiness
may all cover somewhat similar psychological territory, there is real value in paying
careful attention to their nuanced differences. According to said before, rasmia and grit
are psychological resources. However, rasmia is rooted in a specific cultural context,
while grit is a construct that serves to understand behaviours not merely explained by
intelligence. In other words, grit would be the non cognitive ingredient of success in the
vocational, academic and professional context, and not in other domains of life. Rasmia
can be expressed in very diverse tasks for example: helping a friend in a moving, car-
ing for a sick person or learning to play an instrument. In addition, grit refers to the
long-term goals, while rasmia does not necessarily. Rasmia talks about the aspects prior
to the execution of the task (eagerness and strength), how the task is executed: active-
ness, gracefulness and courage, and of the will to reach the objective (tenacity). The
grit refers to the passion for what is done and the perseverance to achieve the long-term
goal. In line with what has been said, rasmia is multidimensional and grit is bidimen-
sional. Finally, rasmia does not imply necessarily passion as grit does.
Thus, the present study has value insofar as there have been scarcely any stud-
ies on the concept of rasmia within psychology, this research represents an advance
towards the understanding of the psychological meaning of this construct. One of the
strengths of this study is the combination of qualitative and quantitative methodol-
ogy, which contributes to obtaining more solid results and more precise conclusions,
since the construct under study has so far been unexplored. More generally, the study
of cultural terms is becoming increasingly relevant today. This is shown in studies with
other cultural terms, such as the aforementioned German term Sehnsucht (Scheibe etal.
2007), the Portuguese term saudade (Neto and Mullet 2014) and the more general Posi-
tive Lexicography Project (Lomas 2016). In relation to the latter, Lomas has so far col-
lected nearly 1000 untranslatable words pertaining to wellbeing, which fall into three
thematic categories (each of which divides into two sub-categories): feelings (positive
and ambivalent), relationships (love and prosociality), and resources (character and
spirituality). Based on this division, rasmia would fall into the category of character,
and the subcategory of resources. The study of resources has become relevant because
of its importance in coping with stress and the well-being of individuals (Hobfoll 2002).
We define psychological resources as the characteristics of the personality that are valu-
able in themselves because they are associated with favorable results for the individual.
They allow for better adaptation to the environment and change, promoting individual
M.D.Merino et al.
1 3
progress towards personal goals and meeting needs, and are malleable to the environ-
ment, can be learned, and are also stable (Hobfoll 2002; Merino and Privado 2015).
Thus, developing a better understanding of rasmia may help empower people to achieve
their goals and increase well-being in the different fields of education, work and sport.
Another possible application of rasmia could be aimed at expanding our vocabulary of
well-being. Usually, a great deal of attention has always been paid to the different specific
psychopathologies of cultures; however, there has been few attempts to trace the positive
mental states that likewise have been identified cross-culturally. It may be that rasmia, as
well as other terms from other cultures, may open windows to the intercultural differences
that exist in the construction of well-being and enrich our understanding and experience of
them.
There are some limitations to the present study. For instance, while the sample of par-
ticipants involves an age range of 18–82years, the bulk of the sample is made up of people
between the ages of 34–40years. For future research, it would be interesting to obtain data
from those older people. These people could bring a valuable point of view to rasmia since
they have lived long enough to have had occasion to use it. With regard to future research
on rasmia, this could include the creation of a scale for its measurement in order to delve
into those factors involved in its development.
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Reflexivity is a popular tool used to analyse personal, intersubjective and social processes which shape research projects. It enables researchers, particularly within the qualitative tradition, to acknowledge their role and the situated nature of their research. In the current climate, which sees the popularity of qualitative methods coupled with increased public and professional scrutiny of research, reflexivity provides a means of bolstering greater transparency and quality in research. This book recognises the considerable value of reflexivity to researchers, and provides a means to navigate this field. The book is foremost a practical guide which examines reflexivity at different stages of the research process. The editors and contributors offer candid approaches to the subject, which supply readers with diverse strategies on how to do reflexivity in practice. Features * Provides an accessible, practical guide to reflexive research processes, methods and outcomes * Encompasses both the health and social science fields * Includes contributions from international researchers The book is aimed at postgraduate and final year students of health and social sciences. Interested clinicians will also find useful insights in the text.