chapter  2
Culture and Psychological Research
Pages 32

Efforts must be made to identify appropriate cultures for testing a theory and to develop or select measures and procedures that will ensure cross-cultural comparisons are based on equivalent data. According to John Berry, etic research takes an outsider’s perspective and focuses on the search for human universals, whereas emic research takes an insider’s perspective and addresses the way behaviors are expressed within a specific culture. For example, people in all cultures make moral judgments, but a study that employs measures of Kohlberg’s stages of moral development across cultures is using an imposed etic. There is much controversy among those who study culture and psychology over the wisdom of translating materials developed in one culture for use in assessing the behaviors of individuals in another culture. Designing research that compares cultures on some psychological phenomenon involves several steps beyond what is required for research within a single culture.