chapter  18
Personality Assessment and the Cultural Self: Ernie and Etic Contexts as Learning Resources
ByRichard H. Dana
Pages 22

Interpretation of standard psychological test data from culturally diverse assessees for clinical diagnosis and personality description is difficult due to bias and deficits in cultural competence. This chapter presents a process for learning to use credible and available ernie and etic sources for culture-personality information that can increase cultural sensitivity by reducing bias. Ernie sources originate in communities representing one culture, or group within a culture (e.g., Native American Navajos), and are called culture-specific. Etic sources are intended to be universal and hence applicable to all cultural groups. However, many so-called etics, including psychological tests and structured interviews, come directly from our Anglo-American culture and have not been cross-culturally validated for equivalence before being used with other cultural groups. As a consequence, these measures are pseudoetics because their generality has not been established empirically. Personality theories and research may also be pseudoetic because of their Euro-American, male origins and subsequent inappropriate applications to persons from diverse cultural groups.