Research on Cultural Intelligence

Although Cultural Intelligence is a relatively new concept, early research is promising. Click here for technical information on construct validity.

The most recent research on theory and practical application of CQ is published in Ang and Van Dyne, L. (Eds.) (2008). Handbook on cultural intelligence: Theory, measurement and applications. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe. Click here to go to Amazon.com to buy a copy of the Handbook of Cultural Intelligence.

Ang, S., Van Dyne, L., & Tan, M.L. (2011). Cultural intelligence. In. R. J. Sternberg & S. B. Kaufman (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook on Intelligence (pp. 582-602). New York: Cambridge Press. Click here to download a copy of this paper.

Matsumoto, D., & Hwang, H.C. (2013). Assessing Cross-Cultural Competence: A review of available tests. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44:849. Click here to download the paper.

Performance Results:

CQ predicts cultural judgment and decision-making (CJDM) and multiple aspects of performance - including in-role work performance, contextual performance, and adaptive performance.

In addition, CQ increases our ability to predict and understand these important outcomes over and above a variety of other factors including demographic characteristics, general cognitive ability, emotional intelligence, cross-cultural adaptability, openness to experience, rhetorical sensitivity, and social desirability.

Those with higher CQ are more effective at making decisions about inter-cultural situations.

Those with higher CQ also have higher performance in situations and on tasks characterized by cultural diversity.


Cultural Adaptation Results:

CQ predicts multiple forms of cultural adaptation, including psychological well-being, general adjustment, work adjustment, and interaction adjustment.

In addition, CQ increases our ability to predict and understand these important cultural adaptation outcomes over and above a variety of other factors including demographic characteristics, general cognitive ability, emotional intelligence, cross-cultural adaptability, openness to experience, and cross-cultural competence.

Those with higher CQ adapt better to situations characterized by cultural diversity.


More Specific Research on the Four Factors of CQ

More detailed research demonstrates that specific aspects of cultural intelligence have special relevance to aspects of decision making, performance, and adjustment.

 

CQ-Strategy and CQ-Action predict Task Performance

Those who have the capability to make sense of inter-cultural experiences (CQ-Strategy), such as making judgments about their own thought processes and those of others, make higher quality decisions and perform at higher levels in multi-cultural work settings.

Those who have the capability to adapt their verbal and nonverbal behavior to fit specific cultural settings (CQ-Behavior) have a flexible repertoire of behavioral responses that enhances their task performance in culturally diverse settings.


In sum:

  • The higher the CQ-Strategy, the higher the performance
  • The higher the CQ-Behavior, the higher the performance

CQ-Drive and CQ-Action each predict Three Different Forms of Adjustment

Those who are interested in experiencing other cultures and feel confident that they can interact with people who have different cultural backgrounds (CQ-Motivation) are better adjusted in culturally diverse situations.

Those who have a broad repertoire of verbal and nonverbal behavioral capabilities (CQ-Behavior) feel better adjusted in situations characterized by cultural diversity.

This pattern of relationships applies to the three types of adjustment:

  • General Adjustment
  • Work Adjustment
  • Interaction Adjustment

In sum:

  • The higher the CQ-Motivation, the higher the adjustment
  • The higher the CQ-Behavior, the higher the adjustment


Future Research and the 20-item CQ Scale

We invite and encourage other academics to help expand the understanding of cultural intelligence. You may download the 20-item CQ Scale here. Please note, use of this scale is granted to academic researchers for research purposes only.