Cross-cultural psychology of health and illness - UL - EN ExamTests (2015-2016)

Open questions

Question 1a

Describe the rod and frame test.

Question 1b

How do results of the rod and frame test typically vary between Western and East-Asian participants and how this difference is interpreted?

Question 2

Explain what ethnocentrism means and give an example.

Question 3

While reading the morning paper, you come across an article speculating that intelligence scores worldwide have declined. Would you as a scientist agree with this journalistic opinion? Explain your reasoning, and name 3 issues related to intelligence testing that contribute to this opinion.

Answer indication

Question 1a

In the rod and frame task, a figure containing a line (rod) and a square needs to be rotated so that the rod is vertical. The influence of context is manipulated by the varying orientation of the frame around the rod. The more your accuracy on the task is influenced by the orientation of the frame, the larger the influence of context is in your perception of orientation.

Question 1b

Typically, East Asians show to be more influenced by context in their answers than Westerners, by showing a larger responsiveness to the orientation of the frame. This is interpreted as related to increased attention to context and relationships over focal attention to the main object, and seen in context of the higher level of social interdependency that is often seen for East-Asian society as compared to American Westerners.

Question 2

Ethnocentrism is in a way an exaggeration, a distortion from reality, a narrowed perception of other countries and social groups. Judgments about other cultural groups and events are made from ones own cultural group.

  • The answer should include an element of ‘judging from one’s own perspective’ and of ‘distortion’.

Example: Someone from China (not familiar with Europe) might see people from Belgium and the Netherlands as similar, because people from both countries are very different from China.

Question 3

You would not agree with this interpretation, as it is a misrepresentation of what intelligence tests measure. Rather, an increasing number of groups are shown to perform poorly on a test that was not designed for them. Possible causes of these design flaws can be based on:

  1. Culturally differing cognitive styles that highlight different strategies
  2. The fact that different behavior is considered intelligent in different cultures
  3. Many intelligence tasks require knowledge that is culture-specific

Could also be: that socio-economic factors are shown to be related to intelligence test scores, educational systems, motivation levels, test-taking abilities, and a range of other aspects relevant to intelligence testing are different in different cultures.

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