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Cross-cultural research methods

posted on 2023-06-10, 05:03 authored by Shigehiro Oishi, Ayse UskulAyse Uskul
Social psychology is often defined as the scientific study of the ways in which the actual or imagined presence of others influences one’s thinking, feeling, and behavior (Aronson et al.,2010). Personality psychology, on the other hand, is often defined as the scientific study of characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling, and behavior (Funder, 2019). Despite their differences in emphasis on the power of situations versus the person, social and personality psychologists have numerous shared topical interests, including, but not limited to, attitude and affect, selfesteem and self-regulation, morality and religiosity, attachment and close relationships, and trust and loyalty. In this chapter we will delineate why a cross-cultural approach to the study of psychological processes is important and how it can be incorporated into both personality and social psychology. We use Adams and Markus’s (2004) definition of culture as “explicit and implicit patterns of historically derived and selected ideas and their embodiment in institutions, practices, and artifacts” (p. 341), and advocate the utility of cultural imagination, the ability to see human behaviors as a function of not just their dispositions or immediate situations but also larger cultural contexts (cf. C. Wright Mills’ 1959 sociological imagination). In one sense, applying a method cross-culturally is extremely simple in that all you have to do is conduct a study across multiple cultural samples. In other ways, however, it is not quite that simple. There are many points of consideration, such as how to translate study materials, how to test conceptual and measurement equivalences of the study materials, and how to interpret the results. In this chapter, we will summarize the advantages of utilizing a crosscultural approach first with familiar topics, and describe how one can conduct cross-cultural research properly by attending to its unique features.


Publication status

  • Accepted

File Version

  • Accepted version


Cambridge University Press

Book title

Handbook of Research Methods in Social and Personality Psychology (3rd Edition)

Place of publication

Cambridge, UK

Department affiliated with

  • Psychology Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes


H Reis, C Judd, T West

Legacy Posted Date


First Compliant Deposit (FCD) Date


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