Cultural competence/Intercultural Development Inventory

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The Intercultural development inventory was created by Hammer, Bennet, Wiseman and associates. [1] [2]. [3] “ The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) was constructed to measure the orientations toward cultural differences described in the DMIS. The result of this work is a 50-item (with 10 additional demographic items), paper-and-pencil measure of intercultural competence.” (Hammer et al., 2003).

After several iterations the authors opted for a five dimensional solution: “ (1) DD (Denial/Defense) factor (14 items), (2) R (Reversal) factor (9 items), (3) M (Minimization) factor (10 items), (4) AA (Acceptance/Adaptation) factor (14 items), and (5) EM (Encapsulated Marginality) factor (5 items). Scale reliabilities (coefficient alpha) were higher than 0.8 for all DD, R, M, AA, and EM items.”

The instrument is commercially available from IdiInventory

Example items

DD (Denial/defense) scale:

(1) It is appropriate that people do not care what happens outside their country,

(2) People should avoid individuals from other cultures who behave differently, and

(3) Our culture's way of life should be a model for the rest of the world.

R (Reversal) scale

(1) People from our culture are less tolerant compared to people from other cultures, (2) People from our culture are lazier than people from other cultures, and (3) Family values are stronger in other cultures than in our culture.

M (Minimisation) scale:

(1) Our common humanity deserves more attention than culture difference,

(2) Cultural differences are less important than the fact that people have the same needs, interests and goals in life, and

(3) Human behavior worldwide should be governed by natural and universal ideas of right and wrong.

AA Acceptance/Adaptation scale:

(1) I have observed many instances of misunderstanding due to cultural differences in gesturing or eye contact,

(2) I evaluate situations in my own culture based on my experiences and knowledge of other cultures, and

(3) when I come in contact with people from a different culture, I find I change my behavior to adapt to theirs.

EM (Encapsulated Marginality) scale

(1) I feel rootless because I do not think I have a cultural identification,

(2) I do not identify with any culture, but with what I have inside, and

(3) I do not feel I am a member of any one culture or combination of cultures.

  1. Hammer, M.R. (2011). Additional cross-cultural validity testing of the Intercultural Development Inventory. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 35, 474-487
  2. Mitchell R. Hammer, Milton J. Bennett, Richard Wiseman, Measuring intercultural sensitivity: The intercultural development inventory, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Volume 27, Issue 4, July 2003, Pages 421-443, ISSN 0147-1767, (
  3. Mitchell R. Hammer, The Developmental paradigm for intercultural competence research, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Volume 48, September 2015, Pages 12-13, ISSN 0147-1767, and

See also: