Types of Challenges Researchers Face When Conducting Cross-Cultural Research

Challenges to cross-cultural research are ample and significant. Pragmatic issues may preclude long term immersion in the culture due to financial issues or lack of sufficient time. Additionally, translation issues may make it difficult to achieve a one–to-one correspondence on questionnaire items used in multiple cultures and languages. Additionally, there are often delicate negotiations across gender, age, status, religious, and economic backgrounds that can involve power and privilege in ways that require careful and appropriate discussion to resolve ethically and to preserve the integrity of the research, researchers, and research participants. As you move forward in your future professional work, take the time to consider the challenges researchers face in light of growing need to further understand the diverse cultures in the world at large. You will find that this type of research will be critically important to further your professional growth and knowledge.
For this Discussion, you will examine the challenges to cross-cultural research.
To Prepare
• Review this week’s Learning Resources and consider the types of challenges researchers face when conducting cross-cultural research.
Explain three major challenges to conducting cross-cultural research. Then, suggest one way to solve one of the challenges.(two paragraphs)
Then explain one advantage and one disadvantage of quantitative research for cross-cultural psychology. Describe one advantage and one disadvantage of qualitative research for cross-cultural psychology. Use examples from the studies provided to support your thinking.(two paragraphs)


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Types of Challenges Researchers Face When Conducting Cross-Cultural Research
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Sample Answer


Cross-Cultural Research

Types of Challenges Researchers Face When Conducting Cross-Cultural Research

Language barrier

Collecting data in a cross-cultural study is challenged by the language barrier. For instance, collecting data from a selected sample of a Native American tribe not well-versed in English can affect smooth communication. In this regard, Transfer, Sukumar, & RAO (2008) argue the importance of translation. Translation can enhance understanding and smooth the collection of information.

Cultural misunderstanding

            The different cultural practices can be a barrier to effective data collection, affecting the overall research process. The practice in one culture can be perceived as taboo in another, hindering data collection (Transfer et al., 2008). For instance, collecting data touching on sensitive subjects such as sex can be challenging among reserved communities.

Survey design

            Cross-cultural research becomes a challenge because the research design mostly touches on the western scale, largely based on individualistic methods. However, it can be challenging when dealing with research in another community if the culture is based on collective practices, such as in Asian countries.

Cross-cultural Competence

            One of the best strategies for promoting an effective cross-cultural research process is having cross-cultural competence. This skill can help researchers consider diversity in society and be more open to different ideas (Van de Vijver, 2009). Cross-cultural competence promotes the right attitude, knowledge, and skills to work with different social groups.

Advantages and Disadvantages of quantitative research for cross-cultural

            Quantitative research is largely based on numerical data, which makes it easy for cross-cultural because it is easy to fill in and provide data. For instance, given that it can involve the selection of numerical data in multiple-choice, it can be easy for cross-culture research to gather adequate information from the selected sample.

The disadvantage of cross-cultural research is that the information can be scanty and fail to capture the entire research objective. The data collected from a given culture using quantitative data cannot effectively inform all the information related to the selected sample.


Transler, C., Sukumar, P., & RAO, K. (2008). Adapting a cognitive test for a different culture illustrates qualitative procedures. http://www.psychologie-aktuell.com/fileadmin/download/PschologyScience/4-2008/01_Malda.pdf

Van de Vijver, F. J. (2009). Types of comparative studies in cross-cultural psychology. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture2(2), 1-12. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/10687026.pdf

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