Title

Online Intercultural Intended Behavior and Ethnocentrism

Poster Number

13

Lead Author Affiliation

Communication

Additional Authors

Kelly Lootz, Supreet Mann, Alexander Paez, Chad Reed, Joshua Ward

Introduction

Increased globalization furthers the platform for ethnocentrism online. Bullying has recently taken center stage as a rampant problem – not only between school-aged children but also within various online communities. Cyberbullying among online gamers, bloggers, and even Twitter users has become a notorious issue. Recent incidents include Zoe Quinn, a gamer and developer who faced a barrage of online bullying. Gamers from all over the world attacked her on various platforms regarding her views on an emerging game charity (Kain, 2014). With online communities continually growing and online platforms transitioning into everyday lives, understanding ethnocentrism can be a valuable way to address these issues.

Purpose

This research aims to acquire new insights to understand ethnocentric tendencies in an online international environment. In particular, initial data regarding self-reported intended behavior shows promising insight into ethnocentric inclinations; prompting a discussion regarding self-reported intended behavior as a possible predictor for ethnocentrism. Predicting these tendencies could hold critical implications toward understanding ethnocentric behavior in our ever shrinking, digital world.

Method

Methods Sample The study consisted of 202 undergraduate students from a private university on the western coast of the United States. Participants ranged in age from 17 to 47, with an average age of 20 years. The sample was comprised of 92 (46%) male and 109 (54%) female participants; 65 (33%) identified as Caucasian, 77 (39%) identified as Asian American, 21 (11%) identified as Hispanic American, and 12 (6%) identified as African American. Twenty-four participants (12%) chose “Other” to identify their ethnicity. Procedure A group administration data collection method was employed in the study. Three researchers went to seven general education classes to collect the data since these classes tend to be more representative of the university’s population. The three page questionnaire contained three different measurements. The questionnaire also included a cover letter with an introduction requiring participants to sign consent before participation. Researchers expressed their appreciation to all participants after data was collected. Measurement This study used three major indices as key variables. They included ethnocentrism, self-esteem, and intended behavior in an intercultural context. Measure one pertained to ethnocentrism and was developed by Neuliep and McCroskey (1997). This measure contained 22 five-point Likert scale statements such as: “Most other cultures are backward compared to my culture.” “My culture should be the role model for other cultures,” and “Other cultures should try to be more like my culture.” Only 15 items were selected for the scale and, according to Neuliep and McCroskey, these items have the Cronbach alpha reliability coefficient at .87. The second measure pertained to self-esteem and was adapted from Geca`s (1971) semantic differential scale. Respondents were asked to rate what they think about themselves on each of the bi-polar adjective pairs. These pairs included: powerful/powerless, confident/lack of confidence, strong/weak, wise/foolish, do most things well/do few things well, brave/cowardly, honest/dishonest, good/bad, kind/cruel, dependable/undependable, generous/selfish, and worthy/worthless. The eleven items were selected for the self-esteem scale with the Cronbach alpha reliability coefficient at .90. Measure three specifically gauged intended behavior variables through a set of six vignettes that were developed by researchers for this specific study. All six vignettes pertained to online intercultural encounters and a 7-point scale measured each statement with 0 referring to “Very strongly disagree,” and 6 indicating, “Very strongly agree.” Since all 6 vignettes were originally created by researchers for this study, it was determined that a 7-point scale would be better suited rather than 5-point scale in order to enhance the validity of the measure as a whole. Researchers methodically created all 6 vignettes in hopes of providing the proper amount of context to participants and enable them to more accurately place themselves in the hypothetical situations. Additionally, all 6 vignettes related to instances and situations that a traditional college student may encounter during an academic year, thereby adding an increased degree of realism for the measure as a whole. One example of the types of vignettes used is as follows: 1. You are invited to join a new webcam-discussion class at your University. While setting up your laptop for class, you realize you will be communicating via webcam with a diverse group of students. You are so excited to see a mix of cultural backgrounds that you immediately join the class.

Results

In terms of hypothesis testing, Hypothesis 1 stated that “intended behavior of joining cultural clubs leads to a reduction of ethnocentrism.” The results supported this hypothesis. Hypothesis 2 said that “viewing other cultural practice is odd leads to an increase of ethnocentrism.” The results supported hypothesis 2. Hypothesis 3 proposed that “intended behavior of learning from other cultures leads to a reduction of ethnocentrism.” The results supported hypothesis 3. Hypothesis 4 stated that “viewing one’s own family way of solving problems works best for others leads to an increase of ethnocentrism.” The results supported hypothesis 4. In terms of answering the research question, the study showed no significant relationship between self-esteem and ethnocentrism.

Significance

Conclusion The study offered significant empirical data to understand intercultural intended behavior (including ”joining club”, “other culture odd” , “learning cultures” and ”my family best”), self-esteem, ethnocentrism, and the relationships between them. Moreover, strong evidence that ethnocentrism has a significant negative correlation with intended behavior of “joining the clubs” and “learning from other cultural practice” was illustrated. Facing globalization, nobody can avoid intercultural communication. To some extent, the whole world is driven by culture. In a word, cultural diversity is both an opportunity and challenge. Intercultural communication has great significance, with research providing new insight into intended behavior to communicate interculturally in an ever-evolving world.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Stockton campus, University of the Pacific

Format

Poster Presentation

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Apr 25th, 10:00 AM Apr 25th, 12:00 PM

Online Intercultural Intended Behavior and Ethnocentrism

DeRosa University Center, Stockton campus, University of the Pacific

Increased globalization furthers the platform for ethnocentrism online. Bullying has recently taken center stage as a rampant problem – not only between school-aged children but also within various online communities. Cyberbullying among online gamers, bloggers, and even Twitter users has become a notorious issue. Recent incidents include Zoe Quinn, a gamer and developer who faced a barrage of online bullying. Gamers from all over the world attacked her on various platforms regarding her views on an emerging game charity (Kain, 2014). With online communities continually growing and online platforms transitioning into everyday lives, understanding ethnocentrism can be a valuable way to address these issues.