Essay On Cultural Bias
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Racism, Discrimination, Stereotypes, Bias, Culture, Instrument, Happiness, People
Cultural bias is a generic term that refers to challenges in comparability in cross-cultural studies leading to invalid conclusions. There is a great interest in cross-cultural research as the world becomes more and more of a global village. Bias will occur when scores differences occur on indicators of a particular construct do not correspond to any known difference in ability or trait of the test takers. This creates an even greater need to eliminate all forms of bias so that the research findings are valid. Developing an instrument that is psychologically acceptable to a different cultural group requires input of more effort than translation of the language.
An example of a bias that can occur during cross-cultural studies is the construct bias. This bias indicates that the construct that is being measured is not identical across the different cultures. This bias can occur when not every relevant behavior associated with a construct is present and properly sampled in the different cultures. A good example is the concept of happiness that is viewed differently across the different cultures. People in North America tend to derive happiness from achievements that they have made and always tend to maximize on positive experiences. People of the Asian origin derive happiness from interpersonal relationships and put a high premium on balanced experiences of both positive and negative effect. Assessing the level of happiness in people from the two regions will require a research instrument that includes multiple aspects of happiness.
Construct bias occurs mostly when an already research instrument is translated word by word. To reduce this bias, it is more proper to develop the instrument simultaneously in the different languages putting into account the different perceptions of the different cultures. To successfully avoid ethnocentric tendencies in the instrument a multicultural and a multilingual committee with expertise in the field should be used to construct the research instrument.