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Quantitative and Qualitative Research across Cultures and Languages: Cultural Metrics and their Application

  • Growing globalisation of the world draws attention to cultural differences between people from different countries or from different cultures within the countries. Notwithstanding the diversity of people’s worldviews, current cross-cultural research still faces the challenge of how to avoid ethnocentrism; comparing Western-driven phenomena with like variables across countries without checking their conceptual equivalence clearly is highly problematic. In the present article we argue that simple comparison of measurements (in the quantitative domain) or of semantic interpretations (in the qualitative domain) across cultures easily leads to inadequate results. Questionnaire items or text produced in interviews or via open-ended questions have culturally laden meanings and cannot be mapped onto the same semantic metric. We call the culture-specific space and relationship between variables or meanings a ’cultural metric’, that is a set of notions that are inter-related and that mutually specify each other’s meaning. We illustrate the problems and their possible solutions with examples from quantitative and qualitative research. The suggested methods allow to respect the semantic space of notions in cultures and language groups and the resulting similarities or differences between cultures can be better understood and interpreted.

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Author:Wolfgang WagnerGND, Karolina HansenORCiDGND, Nicole KronbergerGND
Parent Title (English):Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science
Publisher:Springer US
Place of publication:New York [u.a.]
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2014
Date of Publication (online):2019/07/08
Tag:Cross-cultural psychology; Cultural metric; Meaning; Methods; Qualitative research; Quantitative research
GND Keyword:Ethnopsychologie; Kulturrelativismus; Qualitative Methode; Quantitative Methode
First Page:418
Last Page:434
This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science. The final authenticated version is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12124-014-9269-z
DDC classes:100 Philosophie und Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Open Access?:ja
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt