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Cross-cultural research is burgeoning. Behavioral and social sciences such as psychology, sociology, management, marketing, and political science witness a steady increase in cross-cultural studies. For example, during the last decades, there has been a consistently increasing number of psychological studies on cross-cultural similarities and differences (Boer, Hanke, & He, 2018; Smith, Harb, Lonner, & Van de Vijver, 2001; Van de Vijver & Lonner, 1995). The increased interest is undoubtedly inspired by various factors, such as the opening of previously sealed international borders, large migration streams, globalization of the economic market, international tourism, increased cross-cultural communications, and technological innovations such as new means of telecommunication.
In the previous chapters, typical problems and pitfalls of cross-cultural research were discussed and solutions proposed. The current chapter briefly integrates the major methodological issues into eight statements. Each statement is followed by an explanation. The last section is devoted to our view on the future of cross-cultural research.
This chapter contains a description of the sampling of cultures, design, data analysis, and major strengths and weaknesses of the eight types of cross-cultural studies described in Chapter 2: structure- and level-oriented psychological differences studies; structure- and level-oriented generalizability studies; structure- and level-oriented contextual linkage exploration studies; and structure- and level-oriented contextual linkage validation studies. The structure- and level-oriented studies differ primarily in the analyses employed, so their presentation is integrated. A schematic overview is given in Table 5.1.
This book addresses the methodological features of cross-cultural research. The common characteristic of such studies is their comparative nature, which involves the comparison of at least two cultural populations. Many studies involve different nation states, in sociology (e.g., Inglehart & Welzel, 2010; Van Deth, Montero, & Westholm, 2007), education (e.g., Arnove, Torres, & Franz, 2012; Van de Werfhorst & Mijs, 2010), political sciences (e.g., Coffé & Bolzendahl, 2010; Poguntke & Webb, 2007), management (e.g., House et al., 2004), and psychology (e.g., Schmitt, Allik, McCrae, & Benet-Martínez, 2007). However, comparative studies can also involve different ethnic groups from a single country such as the comparison of ethnic groups in the United States (e.g., Trinidad, Pérez-Stable, White, Emery, & Messer, 2011) and in Europe (Phalet & Kosic, 2006).
Two closely related concepts play an essential role in cross-cultural comparisons, namely equivalence and bias (Poortinga, 1989; Van de Vijver, 2015). There is no consensual definition of either concept in the cross-cultural literature. Johnson (1998) identified more than fifty types of definitions of equivalence, addressing dissimilar features, such as constructs, methodology, language, and context. All definitions refer to some aspect that is shared across cultures or to a qualitative or quantitative procedure to establish the shared features. A review of bias approaches would probably show a comparable variety.
Four procedures for sampling cultures can be discerned (cf. Boehnke, Lietz, Schreier, & Wilhelm, 2011). In convenience sampling, researchers select a culture simply because of considerations of convenience. These considerations can derive from various sources; researchers may be from that culture, are acquainted with collaborators from that culture, or happen to stay there for a period of time. The choice of culture is not related to the theoretical questions raised and is often haphazard. Studies adopting this sampling scheme often fall into the category of psychological differences studies.
Data analysis in cross-cultural research involves more than the preparation of the correct instructions to run a computer program of a statistical package. It is a link in the long chain of empirical research that starts with the specification of a theoretical framework and ends with drawing conclusions. Strategic decisions in the data analysis such as the choice of statistical techniques can only be made on the basis of a combination of substantive considerations such as the research questions or hypotheses involved and statistical considerations such as measurement level and sample size.
This book gives an up-to-date overview of methodological and data-analytical issues of cross-cultural studies. Written by leading experts in the field, it presents the most important tools for doing cross-cultural research and outlines design considerations, methods, and analytical techniques that can improve ecological validity and help researchers to avoid pitfalls in cross-cultural psychology. By focusing on the relevant research questions that can be tackled with particular methods, it provides practical guidance on how to translate conceptual questions into decisions on study design and statistical techniques. Featuring examples from cognitive and educational assessment, personality, health, and intercultural communication and management, and illustrating key techniques in feature boxes, this concise and accessible guide is essential reading for researchers, graduate students, and professionals who work with culture-comparative data.
The purpose of this research is to provide a new understanding of the turbulence dynamics in a heated flow of fluid at supercritical pressure. A unified explanation has been established for the laminarisation mechanisms due to the variations of thermophysical properties, buoyancy and inertia, the last of which plays a significant role in a developing flow. In the new understanding, the various factors can all be treated similarly as (pseudo-)body forces, the effect of which is to cause a reduction in the so-called apparent Reynolds number. The partially laminarising flow is represented by an equivalent-pressure-gradient reference flow plus a perturbation flow. Full laminarisation is used in the paper referring to a region where no new vortical structures are generated. This region is akin to the pre-transition region of a boundary layer bypass transition, and in both cases, the free-stream or pipe-core turbulence decays exponentially, but elongated streaks are formed in the boundary layer. Turbulence kinetic energy in this region may still be significant due to the decaying turbulence as well as newly generated streaks. The latter lead to an increase in streamwise velocity fluctuations near the wall. Later, re-transition occurs when the streaks break down and multi-scale vortices are generated, leading to an increase in the radial and circumferential velocity fluctuations. The structural effect of buoyancy on turbulence is weak and negative in the partially laminarising flow, but is dominant in the full laminarisation and re-transition regions.
Definition of disorder subtypes may facilitate precision treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We aimed to identify PTSD subtypes and evaluate their associations with genetic risk factors, types of stress exposures, comorbidity, and course of PTSD.
Data came from a prospective study of three U.S. Army Brigade Combat Teams that deployed to Afghanistan in 2012. Soldiers with probable PTSD (PTSD Checklist for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fifth Edition ≥31) at three months postdeployment comprised the sample (N = 423) for latent profile analysis using Gaussian mixture modeling and PTSD symptom ratings as indicators. PTSD profiles were compared on polygenic risk scores (derived from external genomewide association study summary statistics), experiences during deployment, comorbidity at three months postdeployment, and persistence of PTSD at nine months postdeployment.
Latent profile analysis revealed profiles characterized by prominent intrusions, avoidance, and hyperarousal (threat-reactivity profile; n = 129), anhedonia and negative affect (dysphoric profile; n = 195), and high levels of all PTSD symptoms (high-symptom profile; n = 99). The threat-reactivity profile had the most combat exposure and the least comorbidity. The dysphoric profile had the highest polygenic risk for major depression, and more personal life stress and co-occurring major depression than the threat-reactivity profile. The high-symptom profile had the highest rates of concurrent mental disorders and persistence of PTSD.
Genetic and trauma-related factors likely contribute to PTSD heterogeneity, which can be parsed into subtypes that differ in symptom expression, comorbidity, and course. Future studies should evaluate whether PTSD typology modifies treatment response and should clarify distinctions between the dysphoric profile and depressive disorders.