Cultural competence/Multicultural Personality Questionnaire

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The Multicultural Personality Questionnaire (MPQ) was created by van Oudenhoven and Van der Zee (Van der Zee and van Oudenhoven (2000) [1]; Van der Zee, K.I., & Van Oudenhoven, J.P. (2001) [2];Van Oudenhoven & Van der Zee (2001)[3]; Van de Zee et al. (2013) [4])


There seem to be at least three versions, the initial 2000 one, the revised 2001 and a 2013 short form

1 MPQ revised (2001)

A first version included 138 items and five dimensions and these were reduced to 78 items. Definitions and Sample Items for the five MPQ Dimensions are taken from the Journal of personality article (Van der Zee & Van Oudenhoven, 2001), and are below:

Cultural Empathy (14 items)
The ability to empathize with the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors of individuals from a different cultural background versus an inability to do so
Notices when someone is in trouble (+)
Understands other people’s feelings (+)
Takes other people’s habits into consideration (+)
Has problems assessing relationships (+)
Openmindedness (14 items)
An open and unprejudiced attitude toward different groups and toward different cultural norms and values
Gets involved in other cultures (+)
Finds other religions interesting (+)
Seeks contact with people from a different background (+)
Has a broad range of interests (+)
Emotional Stability (20 items)
The tendency to remain calm in stressful situations versus a tendency to show strong emotional reactions under stressful circumstances
Can put setbacks in perspective (+)
Keeps calm at ill-luck (+)
Is afraid to fail (-)
Takes it for granted that things will turn out right (+)
Social Initiative (17 items)
A tendency to approach social situations in an active way and to take initiatives
Is inclined to speak out (+)
Is often the driving force behind things (+)
Takes the lead (+)
Easily approaches other people (+)MULTICULTURAL PERSONALITY QUESTIONNAIRE
Flexibility (13 items)
A tendency to regard new and unknown situations as a challenge and to adjust one’s behavior to the demands of new and unknown situations
Avoids from adventure (-)
Works mostly according to a strict scheme (-)
Feels uncomfortable in a difffferent culture (-)
Starts a new life easily (+)

2 MPQ-SF (2013 short form)

The MPQ-SF (short form) includes 40 items

Below are its labels as presented the Multicultural Personality Questionnaire: Development of a Short Form article

CE = cultural empathy:
Pays attention to the emotions of others
Is a good listener
Senses when others get irritated
Getting to know others profoundly
Enjoys other people's stories
Notices when someone is in trouble
Sympathizes with others
Sets others at ease

FX = flexibility:
Works according to strict rules
Works according to plan
Works according to strict scheme
Looks for regularity in life
Likes routine
Wants predictability
Functions best in a familiar setting
Has fixed habits

SI = social initiative:
Takes the lead
Leaves initiative to others to make contacts
Finds it difficult to make contacts
Takes initiative
Is inclined to speak out
Is often the driving force behind things
Makes contacts easily
Is reserved

ES = emotional stability:
Worries
Gets upset easily
Is nervous
Is apt to feel lonely
Keeps calm when things don't go well
Is insecure
Is under pressure
Is not easily hurt

OP = open-mindedness:
Tries out various approaches
Is looking for new ways to attain his or her goal
Starts a new life easily
Likes to imagine solutions to problems
Is a trendsetter in societal developments
Has feeling for what's appropriate in culture
Seeks people from different backgrounds
Has broad range of interests

3 MPQ 2000

The four dimensions of the final version of the MPQ (2000) included:

  • Openness (27 items)
  • Emotional Stability (13 items)
  • Social Initiatives (27 items)
  • Flexibility (24 items)

4 References

  1. Van der Zee, K. I., & van Oudenhoven, J. P. (2000). The Multicultural Personality Questionnaire: A multidimensional instrument of multicultural effectiveness. European Journal of Personality, 14, 291-309.
  2. Van der Zee, K.I., & Van Oudenhoven, J.P. (2001). The Multicultural Personality Questionnaire: Reliability and Validity of Self and Other Ratings of Multicultural Effectiveness. Journal of Research in Personality, 35, 278-288. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0092656601923207
  3. Jan Pieter Van Oudenhoven & Karen I. van der Zee (2002). Prediciting multiculural effectiveness in international students: The Multicultural Personality Questionnaire, International Journal of Intercultural Relations 26(6):679-694
  4. van der Zee, K., van Oudenhoven, J. P., Ponterotto, J. G., & Fietzer, A. W. (2013). Multicultural Personality Questionnaire: Development of a short form. Journal of personality assessment, 95(1), 118-124.