A Cognitive Approach to Promoting Cross-Cultural Perspective Taking Skills
Department of Defense
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361 INTERACTIVE, LLC
408 Sharts Road, Suite 7, Springboro, OH, 45066
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AbstractCultures differ in cognition. These cognitive differences naturally result in expectancy violations and perceptual mismatches between people of different cultures. And while they are, by nature, difficult to observe, a culture’s cognitive attributes significantly influence individual perceptions and overt behaviors. A training program that addresses general cross-cultural perspective taking skills needs to acknowledge these cognitive differences and make them a primary focus. We propose to use the Cultural Lens Model, an innovative cognitive model that integrates multiple theories on cultural differences, as a guiding framework for the proposed effort. The Cultural Lens Model offers a structure for understanding, explaining, and potentially predicting reasoning and decision-making behaviors of members of different cultures. Our resultant program will integrate required baseline knowledge within the context of skill-building, scenario-based exercises. It will provide trainees with a general mental model of how cultures differ in cognition, along with the ability to apply that model to themselves and others. By exploiting several existing technologies from previous efforts, we will demonstrate the feasibility and inherent value of our concept with a functional Phase I prototype. The prototype will contain modules for both Army cultural trainers and self-taught trainees.
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