A behavioral signature of cross-cultural competence is discriminative use of culturally appropriate behavioral strategies in different cultural contexts. Given the central role communication plays in cross-cultural adjustment and adaptation, the present investigation examines how meta-knowledge of culture—defined as knowledge of what members of a certain culture know—affects culturally competent cross-cultural communication. We reported two studies that examined display of discriminative, culturally sensitive use of cross-cultural communication strategies by bicultural Hong Kong Chinese (Study 1), Chinese students in the United States and European Americans (Study 2). Results showed that individuals formulating a communicative message for a member of a certain culture would discriminatively apply meta-knowledge of the culture. These results suggest that unsuccessful cross-cultural communications may arise not only from the lack of motivation to take the perspective of individuals in a foreign culture, but also from inaccurate meta-knowledge of the foreign culture.
- social cognition
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kayeeangela_leung/58/