Cross-Cultural Training Effects on Cultural Essentialism Beliefs and Cultural Intelligence

Contact: Ronald Fischer


The study describes the implementation of an intercultural training intervention as part of a university course. The intervention included cognitive, affective, and behavioural components, and the study measured students’ cultural intelligence before and after participating.


The study found that:

  • After the intervention, participants were more likely to believe in cultural essentialism (the idea that culture has an underlying essence that influences how members of a culture behave);
  • Self-ratings of cognitive and meta-cognitive cultural intelligence decreased, and participants reported that the intervention showed them how little they know about cultural diversity;
  • Personality moderated the trainings’ effectiveness: more open-minded students were more likely to report increases in motivational cultural intelligence;
  • Beliefs in cultural essentialism were positively related to both open-mindedness and positive increases in cognitive cultural intelligence, challenging claims that essentialism is consistently linked to prejudice and negative outcomes.

You can read the article “Cross-Cultural Training Effects on Cultural Essentialism Beliefs and Cultural Intelligence” here.