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Personalities Across Cultures

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How would one measure personalities across cultures and should the cultural differences be evaluated when assessing personality? It seems to me that if there could be research assessments to measure personalities that it would help dissuade conflict in certain circumstances. I know how bad my personality conflicts with certain types. Are there any assessments available and do they consider cultural differences?

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Dear Student,

Hi and thank you for using Brainmass. The questions that you pose are very interesting. It seems to me that you have a good grip of what assessments and evaluations can offer and you see the potential that they can bring in terms of avoiding or resolving cross-cultural issues. In this solution, what I will do is delve into each of your questions and we will explore them, discussing currently available strategies and applications. Additionally, you can also use the listed resources below to expand on the ideas presented. If you need further clarification, just let me know via the feedback section and I'll try and clarify things for you further. Now, on to your first question:

"How would one measure personalities across cultures and should the cultural differences be evaluated when assessing personality? "

To answer this, there are 3 important notions we should consider - how personality is affected by culture, what culture is (because this is the source of barriers and differences between people who belong to different ethnic groups) and what personality tests/psychometric testing aim to achieve. First, when we say personality, we refer to the very particular ways an individual thinks, behaves and reacts. No two people can ever be the same personality-wise. It is an individualistic trait and is a combination of attitudinal, emotional and behavioural action/reaction/response patterns that manifest itself in the individual over time so that it becomes part of his identity, dictating how the individual thinks and feels and how he or she is perceived by others. How is personality formed? According to Erikson (1950), there are 8 stages to personality development that has cognitive and social implications from childhood to expiration. Successful graduation from each stage means the development of a healthy personality able to face the difficulties offered by the next stage of psychosocial development. How then does culture play? Culture is that set of traditions, beliefs, practices, linguistic systems and mores that a group of people practice and take on to be 'true' and essential as a standard or way of living. Culture happens because people interact and lives on from generation to the next due to learning and socialization. Socialization is the way human beings learn cultural skills (language, social skills, for example) through experience, throughout the lifetime. Culture is learned and what we learn affects how we view the world, what we like, what we hate.

Consider Indian culture - it is a culture influenced by the caste system so that membership in the lowest caste system almost equates to being seen and treated by higher-caste Indians as being 'lower than dirt'. If your parents and relatives are treated without respect from others, how then can this affect personality? Consider a child witnessing his parents and siblings being told off for being poor and 'dirty' as 'Dalits' (India's ...

Solution Summary

The following posting discusses the differences in personalities across cultures.