This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

An Examination of Chinese International Students' Personality Traits and Cross-Cultural Sensitivity Dimensions




Huang, Mingyu

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


The purpose of this study was to examine Chinese international students’ Personality Traits and Cross-Cultural Sensitivity dimensions. This study used the Personality Traits theory from Goldberg (1992) and Cross-Cultural Sensitivity theory as identified by Cushner (1986). Students were studying in the United States and were of Chinese descent. Data collected were from Chinese students attending a public four-year southeastern university. The study provided new insights about the relationship between Personality Traits and Cross-Cultural Sensitivity for Chinese students. A quantitative research design was used to address five research questions. Participants were students enrolled at a large southeastern research institution in the U.S. during the Fall semester, 2017. Survey data was analyzed through descriptive statistics, Factorial MANOVA, and multiple regression analysis. Results showed that Chinese international students had the highest scores in agreeableness, and lowest scores in extraversion on the Big Five Personality Traits survey. Chinese international students had the highest scores in Intellectual Interaction, and lowest scores in the Behavioral Scale using the Cross-Cultural Sensitivity Inventory. Males had highest scores on the openness factor compared to females. This study suggests that educators consider gender differences when designing class activities in international classrooms. Educators can try different kinds of culture communication activities for Chinese students due to their high intellectual orientation toward interactions to raise their perception of other people’s behavior. In addition, educators could provide more opportunities to international students to communicate with other culture students, and encourage female students to take the lead or take responsibility for the task. Developing cross-cultural sensitivity characteristics are the best way to help international students adapt to United States’ learning and living well and fast.