This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Profile Analysis of Intercultural Sensitivity




Gunther, Katie

Type of Degree





Bennett (1986) theorized that preferences for specific worldviews about cultural difference (ranging from ethnocentric to ethno-relative) influence the degree to which trainees benefit from or resist cross-cultural training. Measured by the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI; Hammer & Bennett, 2001), a single intercultural sensitivity score has been criticized because it may overestimate preference for the intermediate worldview of Minimization and may mask preferences for multiple worldviews. In this study, the normative IDI profile patterns are explored and validated in two military samples using profile analysis via multidimensional scaling (PAMS; Davison, 1994; Kim, Frisby, & Davison, 2004). Two dimensions were revealed, one largely supportive of an intercultural sensitivity dimension peaking at Acceptance (Profile 1) and a second that indicates significant preference for the Minimization worldview coupled with a lack of preference for the Reversal worldview (Profile 2). In a test of Bennett’s (1998) resistance-to-training hypothesis, PAMS parameters were used to predict change in cultural knowledge as a result of instruction. Profile 1 was not related to greater gains in cultural knowledge, while there was a relationship between Profile 2 weights and change in learning. The results suggest that Minimization is a construct not intermediate in the intercultural sensitivity continuum but separate from it, yet that has an influence on receptiveness to learning culture-general concepts.