Major Takeaways & Effectiveness of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)

Major Objectives of the IDI: To provide insight into how one makes sense of cultural differences and to improve one’s cultural perspective/adaptive behavior in order to bridge diverse communities.

IDI Major Suggestions:

  1. First and foremost, reflect on cultural commonalities AND differences, not one or the other.
  2. Be aware of the twelve primary dimensions of diversity:
    • gender
    • nationality
    • race
    • age
    • family background
    • disabilities/abilities
    • religion
    • educational background
    • one’s ‘roots’
    • sexuality
    • socioeconomic status
    • work experience
  3. Confirm true similarities between two cultures rather than assuming values, behaviors, and/or perspectives.
  4. Be sure to ask those of diverse communities of their perspective on current events, policies, etc..
  5. Think from an intercultural mindset, not monocultural.
  6. Be curious, appreciate, and seek out intercultural interactions.

The Steps to Overcome a Cultural Adaptability Conflict:

Exposition: Coming across a situation in another culture that diverges from your own moral compass.

Climax: To make morally intercultural competent judgments, consider the meaning and value of the cultural practice NOT ONLY in your own culture, but particularly in the other.

Resolution: Be willing to identify those ‘questionable’ yet cultural differences and try to bridge across them in a way that doesn’t violate your values nor the other cultures.

The Five Orientations of the Intercultural Development Continuum (IDC):

  1. Denial ⇒ withdraws oneself from deeper cultural differences (i.e. religious values), not so much from observable differences (i.e. food).
  2. Polarization ⇒ separates cultures between ‘us’ and ‘them.’
  3. Minimization ⇒ highlights cultural commonalities but NOT differences.
  4. Acceptance ⇒ recognizes and appreciates commonalities and differences.
  5. Adaptation ⇒ ability to shift one’s cultural perspective and to change behavior in a culturally authentic manner.

Quick Key Terms to Be Aware of:

  • Cultural Disengagement → the feeling of disconnectedness from primary culture.
  • Perceived Orientation (PO) → how one perceives oneself along the IDC.
  • Developmental Orientation (DO) → how the IDI perceived one to be along the IDC.

My Results & Commentary:

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 4.39.32 AM

Overall, the IDI spreads awareness of intercultural competency and reassures people that it is good to recognize commonalities AND differences across cultures. However, the IDI seemed to not take into consideration the written portions of the assessment, which is why it felt standardized. Specifically speaking, my answer to the question “What are your experiences across culture?” gives me reason to believe that my Developmental Orientation (DO) score should have been higher. I said, “[I] have lived in several places that I consider to have all sorts of cultural differences. From conservative states to liberal ones, from poverty to riches, from monoracial communities to multiracial ones.” By the standards of the Minimization orientation, I would only be able to highlight cultural commonalities NOT differences. As one can see, I specifically mentioned cultural differences. Besides minor flaws, the intention behind the IDI still stands.


Intercultural Development Inventory


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