Combining Emic and Etic Studies: Recent Developments
Emic and Etic Measurement in Large-Scale Assessments: Towards an Integration Fons J. R. van de Vijver Structure Focus in large-scale assessment on asking identical questions (etic approach) Emicetic distinction Relevance for large-scale assessment From a dichotomy to complementarity Example: personality assessment Implications for large-scale assessment N of Countries in Large-Scale Assessment Programme for International Student Achievement (PISA): 78 countries (2018) Starting Strong Survey (3S): 9 countries (2018) Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS): 48 countries (2018) Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC): 47 countries Current Paradoxes of Large-Scale Assessments Due to Growth General: Growth is accompanied by paradoxes/trade-offs Increase in number of countries (with increase in cultural variation) will
simultaneously make such studies more informative for all stakeholders (countries, policymakers, scientists,) studies more difficult to conduct (e.g., adaptation issues) Analysis paradox: more countries, fewer conclusions can be drawn Scalar invariance as the desired/required, yet impossible goal Test design paradox: more countries, less cultural coverage Focus on what has at least some relevance in all countries Can easily gravitate towards Western-based stimuli (common to most OECD countries); Wober (1969): How well can they do our tricks? Test length paradox: more items, more design and analysis problems Long instruments are both desirable and undesirable (paradox that long instruments are more informative, yet less likely to show high level of invariance) Ways Forward? Maintain that more countries and longer instruments are more informative, but Adjust/refine invariance procedures OECD conference later this year on this topic Relax the framework that only identical stimuli can be used and are informative as the
framework will increasingly become a straitjacket This approach will be further explored here Need to Combine Universal and Culture-Specific Elements Psychological phenomena are typically neither completely universal, nor completely culture specific More universalism at a higher level of abstraction (extroversion) than at a lower level (indicators of extroversion) As a Venn Diagram: Construct X in Three Countries Large-scale assessment now focuses on the intersection Yet, any subset can add validity to specific comparisons or enhance internal consistency Options Adoption (Close, literal translation) Advantage: maintains metric equivalence Disadvantage: adequacy (too) readily assumed, should be
demonstrated Adaptation (changing contents of one or more items so as to increase cultural appropriateness) Advantage: more flexible, more tailored to the context Disadvantage: fewer statistical techniques available to compare scores across cultures Assembly (composing a new instrument) Advantage: very flexible Disadvantage: almost no comparability maintained Taxonomy of Adaptations Adaptation as generic term; Need for adaptation can be due to: Construct equivalence Similarity of construct in source and target culture Cultural equivalence Linguistic equivalence Norms about interaction (modes of address)
Cultural fact sheet Translation accuracy: Retention of denotation and connotation Measurement equivalence Retention of psychometric features (response styles) Similarity of factors measured by a test and comparability of scores A Note on the Term Adaptation Adaptations are always meant to enhance ecological validity, but Minimum definition: In OECD studies placeholders are often used when developing instruments Involving places where a close translation would not work, but where the rest of the item remains
intact Maximum definition: Adaptation as inserting or replacing items Emic-etic in personality research Pike (1967): "Emic: an emic account comes from a person within the culture; indigenous perspective E.g., what is intelligence in rural Zambia? "Etic: account is a description of a behavior or belief by an observer, in terms that can be applied to other cultures E.g., is the structure of intelligence universal? Long considered to be conflicting Example: (In)completeness of the Five-Factor Model Financially supported by NRF and SANPAD The SAPI, an acronym for South African Personality Inventory, is a project that aims to develop an indigenous personality measure for all 11 official languages in South Africa. Participants are Byron Adams (University of Johannesburg and Tilburg University, the Netherlands), Deon de Bruin (University of Johannesburg), Karina de Bruin (University of Johannesburg), Carin Hill (University of Johannesburg), Leon Jackson (North-West University), Deon Meiring (University of Pretoria and University of Stellenbosch), Alewyn Nel (North-West University), Ian Rothmann (North-West University), Michael Temane (North-West University), Velichko
Valchev (Tilburg University, the Netherlands), and Fons van de Vijver (North-West University and Tilburg University, the Netherlands). Cross-Cultural Personality Models Universality (etic approach) Using imposed etic concepts emphasizes universals or core similarities in all human beings Are the imposed etic personality constructs universally applicable? Cultural specificity (emic approach) Utilizes a culture-specific orientation - emic concepts Indigenous and culturally relevant constructs may be missing Are there personality characteristics that are important to the understanding of personality in the local culture that have been left out in Western measures?
Personality: Evidence for Universality Evidence largely based on two lines of research 1. Five-Factor Model (Costa, McCrae) Five factors: Neuroticism, Extroversion, Openness, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness 2. Three-Factor Model (Eysenck) Three factors: Extroversion, Neuroticism, Psychoticism Evidence for Cultural Specificity Chinese concepts of interpersonal relatedness Japanese concept of amae (sweet indulgence) Korean concept of chong (affection) Indian concept of selfless self South-African concept of Ubuntu Meaning "humanity towards others"
"I am because we are" "A person 'becomes human' through other persons" "A person is a person because of other persons" Emic versus Etic or Emic and Etic? Personality is neither completely universal, nor completely culture-specific In retrospect, it is difficult to see how only one perspective could be presented as THE perspective Emic and Etic instead of Emic vs. Etic How can we combine the two? Much evidence in cross-cultural psychology that basic structure of psychological functioning is universal, but manifestations can differ across cultures Languages of South Africa Language % Zulu 23.8% Xhosa 17.6% Afrikaans 13.3%
Other languages 0.5% http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:South_Africa_municipalities_by_language_2001.png Aim SAPI Project No test available with demonstrated validity in all groups Develop a personality instrument for South Africa that can accommodate its diversity Stages 1. Qualitative Stage Identifying personality structure in an indigenous, comparative study Generating and piloting items/scales 2. Quantitative Stage Method Participants Adults from all eleven language groups Sample guidelines: Socio-economic Status, Education (low, medium, High), Males/Females, Age (18-35 yrs & 35 older) Interview done in participants first language
Instrument Person descriptions of familiar persons Your own personality Describe yourself A parent . Stages in Data Analysis Phase 1 Preparing Data Translations Removing synonyms, Phase 2 Iterations of Condensing data Consulting language and cultural experts Phase 3: Conceptual Cluster Analysis 22 Condensing the Data Facets abusive (34) Categorising Cleaning Response in English
Response in Ndebele abusive abused He is abused Uhlukulumezekile epilweni abusive abused him he abused him even when abuse was not there kade ambuser lokha ingekho abusive abuses me He abuses me Uyangi hlukumeza abusive Abusive person
An abusive person Umuntu ohlukumezako SOFTHEARTEDNESS RELATIONSHIP HARMONY Conflict Seeking Meddlesomeness Hostility Amiability Interpersonal Relatedness Egoism Active support Approachability FACILITATIN G Gratefulness Guidance
Empathy EXTRAVERSI ON Dominance CONSCIENTIOUSNE SS Sociability Expressiveness Positive Emotionality Achievement Orientation Thoughtlessness EMOTIONAL STABILITY OPENNES S Materialism Emotional Control Emotional Sensitivity Neuroticism
Balance INTEGRI TY Dedication Self-discipline Ego Strength Encouraging others Epistemic Curiosity Integrity Fairness Orderliness INTELLEC T Aesthetics Reasoning Broadmindedness Openness to Experience
Skillfulness Social Intellect Cluster: Relationship Harmony Subcluster Approachability Conflict-Seeking Facet Example Response (Language) Accommodating Addressed us in English so we could understand (Xhosa) Approachable She is approachable, I could speak to her about anything (S Sotho) Arrogant He thinks he is better than all the other people (N Sotho) Flexible
Flexible to situation (Tswana) Humble She is a humble and down to earth person (Ndebele) Open for Others Accepts people for who and what they are (English) Proud Is proud and thinks of herself better than others (Swati) Stubborn Was stubborn, did not listen to anybody (Tswana) Tolerant Tolerant (Afrikaans) Welcoming Welcoming to everyone (Venda) Argumentative Likes to quarrel (Xhosa)
Provoking Provocative and calls people names (Swati) Troublesome Creates tension for nothing (Zulu) Cluster: Soft-Heartedness Active Support Community Involvement (11/143) There is one person who is always looking after the community (Zulu) Heedful She listens when you talk to her (S Sotho) Helpful Is helpful when you are in need (Swati) Protective Protective (Xhosa) Solving Problems of Others If I have a problem, she knows how to solve it (Ndebele) Amiability
Egoism Supportive I like to give people my support (Tswana) Friendly She is a friendly person (Tsonga) Irritating He is annoying and irritating (S Sotho) Kind Kind (Venda) Likeable He is loved by everyone (S Sotho) Pleasant He was a nice person to live with (Zulu) Stern Always serious, not smiling (Xhosa) Generous
One who is generous and gives food when asked (Swati) Greedy Greedy (Afrikaans) Jealous A person who is jealous of other peoples possessions (Zulu) Self-Centered All revolves around her, she thinks (English) Selfish Wants everything for himself (Xhosa) Quantitative Findings 262 items (incl. 12 SD items) administered to 1,364 students and community adults 671 Blacks, 198 Coloureds, 104 Indians, 391 Whites EFA per cluster; items with loadings < .30 or .40 were removed 158 items in latest version (incl. 12 Social Desirability items) 18 empirically derived scales EFA on scale scores 27 Cronbachs alpha
Black Coloured Indian White Facilitating (10) .84 .85 .87 .88 Integrity (12) .76 .83 .84 .79 Social Intellect (4) .71
Social Intelligence EXTRAVERSI ON CONSCIENTIOUSNE SS Orderliness Integrity Playfulness Sociability Achievement Orientation Emotional Maturity Traditionalism Religiosity NEUROTICIS M Negative Emotionality INTELLEC T/ OPENNES S
Intellect Epistemic Curiosity Broadmindedness 31 Conclusion Both emic and etic factors were found Emic notably in the social-relational domain Five Factor Model well replicated for N, E, O, C If we would have started by applying a standard Big Five/FFM instrument, the salience of social relational aspects would never have been found Emic and Etic in Large-Scale Studies Etic/one-size-fits-all approach has strengths Allows for cross-cultural comparisons Is efficient (can use short instruments) Can often rely on tried-and-tested instruments Etic/one-size-fits-all approach has limitations Focus on short instruments Construct coverage can become problematic Focus on what is shared across cultures, which will become less and less when cultural variation is
increased Combined emicetic approach would amount to adding culture-specific items to etic measures Note: different from international option that involves all items about a construct Emic approach can help to Increase ecological validity of instruments Increase construct coverage Enhance validity and internal consistency in cultures Overcome the criticism that large-scale assessments can show Western bias Note: item response theory can deal with the combination of etic and emic items (cf. matrix designs) Global Conclusion From emic versus etic to emic and etic Emphasis on identical questions in large-scale assessment (one-size-fits-all) becomes problematic with the increased cultural/linguistic diversity of large-scale assessments Culture-specific items may help policy makers
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