Self-Test on Cultural Orientation

I wrote this self-test as an introduction to the various cultural orientations I talk about in the texts. I thought it would make a good introduction to culture generally or to cultural orientations specifically.

Test Yourself
What’s Your Cultural Orientation?

This test is designed to get you thinking about your own cultural orientations, five of which are considered in this next section. Before reading about these perspectives, take the following self-test. For each of the items below, select either a or b. In some cases, you may feel that neither a nor b describes you accurately; in these cases simply select the one that is closer to your feeling. As you’ll see when you read this next section, these are not either-or preferences, but more-or-less preferences.

1. Success, to my way of thinking, is better measured by
a. the extent to which I surpass others
b. my contribution to the group effort
2. My heroes are generally
a. people who stand out from the crowd
b. team players
3. Of the following values, the one’s I consider more important are:
a. achievement, stimulation, enjoyment
b. tradition, benevolence, conformity
4. Generally, in my business transactions, I feel comfortable
a. relying on oral agreements
b. relying on written agreements
5. If I were a manager I would likely
a. reprimand a worker in public if the occasion warranted
b. always reprimand in private regardless of the situation
6. In communicating, it’s generally more important to be
a. polite than accurate or direct
b. accurate and direct rather than polite
7. Of the following characteristics, the ones I value more highly are
a. aggressiveness, material success, and strength M
b. modesty, tenderness, and quality of life F
8. In a conflict situation I’d be more likely to
a. confront conflicts directly and seek to win
b. confront conflicts with the aim of compromise
9.If I were a manager of an organization I would stress
a. competition and aggressiveness
b. worker satisfaction
10. I’d enjoy working in most groups where
a. there is little distinction between leaders and members
b. there is a clearly defined leader
11. As a student (and if I feel well-informed)
a. I’d feel comfortable challenging a professor
b. I’d feel uncomfortable challenging a professor
12. In choosing a life partner or even close friends, I’d feel more comfortable
a. with just about anyone, not necessarily one from my own culture and class
b. with those from my own culture and class
13. Generally, I’m
a. comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty
b. uncomfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty
14. As a student I’m more comfortable with assignments in which
a. there is freedom for interpretation
b. there are clearly defined instructions
15. Generally when approaching an undertaking with which I’ve had no experience, I’d feel
a. comfortable
b. uncomfortable

How did you do? Items 1-3 refer to the individualist-collectivist orientation; a responses indicate an individualist orientation, b responses indicate a collectivist orientation. Items 4-6 refer to the high and low context characteristics; a responses indicating a high context focus and b responses indicating a low context focus. Items 7-9 refer to the masculine-feminine dimension; a responses indicate a masculine orientation; b responses a feminine orientation. Items 10-12 refer to power distance dimension; a responses indicate a greater comfort with low power distance, b responses indicate a great comfort with high power distance. Items 13-15 refer to the tolerance for ambiguity or uncertainty; a responses indicate a high tolerance and b responses indicate a low tolerance.
What will you do? Understanding your preferences in a wide variety of situations as culturally influenced (at least in part), is a first step to controlling them and to changing them should you wish. This understanding also helps you modify your behavior as appropriate for greater effectiveness in certain situations. The remaining discussion in this section explains these orientations and their implications further.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great site!! I am a student at university and we use your book Human Communication the basic course. The writing is very clear and I enjoy the self tests. I have an exam tomorrow on the first 8 chapters and your blog has helped tremendously.