The Cultural Intelligence Scale

Aamir Ranjha

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The Cultural Intelligence Scale

The Cultural Intelligence Scale

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About The Cultural Intelligence Scale

Scale Name

The Cultural Intelligence Scale

Author Details

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The Cultural Intelligence Scale
The Cultural Intelligence Scale

Background/Description

In the increasingly interconnected and globalized world, the ability to effectively interact with people from diverse cultural backgrounds has become a crucial skill for success. Cultural intelligence (CQ) is a concept that emerged in the early 2000s to capture this essential ability. P. Christopher Earley and Soon Ang, two prominent researchers in the field of cross-cultural management, introduced the concept of CQ in their 2003 book “Cultural Intelligence: Winning Through Understanding and Adaptability.”

CQ is defined as “a person’s capability to effectively adapt to new cultural contexts, interact appropriately and successfully with people from different cultures, and work effectively in culturally diverse teams.” It encompasses four key components:

  • Cognitive CQ: Knowledge of different cultures, their values, beliefs, and norms, as well as an ability to interpret cultural cues and symbols.
  • Motivational CQ: Desire to engage with people from different cultures, willingness to step outside one’s comfort zone, and openness to new experiences and ideas.
  • Metacognitive CQ: Awareness of one’s own cultural values and biases, ability to suspend judgment and consider other perspectives, and self-monitoring and adaptation of behavior in different cultural contexts.
  • Behavioral CQ: Ability to adapt communication style to different audiences, build rapport and trust with people from different cultures, and effectively resolve conflicts in culturally diverse settings.

To measure CQ, Earley and Ang developed the Cultural Intelligence Scale (CQS), a 20-item self-report rating scale. The CQS assesses individuals’ strengths and weaknesses across the four dimensions of CQ: cognitive, motivational, metacognitive, and behavioral. Each item is rated on a 5-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).

The Cultural Intelligence Scale has been extensively validated in numerous research studies and has demonstrated strong reliability and validity. It has been used in various settings, including business organizations, educational institutions, and international agencies, to assess and develop CQ among individuals and teams.

Administration, Scoring and Interpretation

  • Introduce the purpose of the assessment: Briefly explain to the participants that the purpose of the assessment is to measure their cultural intelligence (CQ), which is the ability to effectively interact with people from diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • Distribute the questionnaires: Provide each participant with a copy of The Cultural Intelligence Scale.
  • Instruct participants to read each item carefully and rate their agreement or disagreement on a 5-point Likert scale: For each item, participants will indicate their level of agreement or disagreement on a scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).
  • Collect the questionnaires: Once all participants have completed the questionnaire, collect them for scoring and analysis.

Reliability and Validity

Reliability refers to the consistency and stability of a measure. A reliable measure consistently assesses the same construct across different administrations and contexts. The Cultural Intelligence Scale has demonstrated high internal consistency reliability, with Cronbach’s alpha coefficients consistently exceeding 0.70 across all four dimensions of CQ (cognitive, motivational, metacognitive, and behavioral). This indicates that the items within each dimension consistently measure the same underlying construct.

Validity refers to the extent to which a measure accurately assesses what it purports to measure. The Cultural Intelligence Scale has demonstrated strong construct validity, convergent validity, and discriminant validity.

Construct validity: The Cultural Intelligence Scale measures the concept of CQ as defined by its developers, Earley and Ang. Studies have shown that the CQS scores correlate with other measures of CQ, such as the Intercultural Effectiveness Questionnaire (IEQ) and the Cultural Adaptability Inventory (CAI).

Convergent validity: The Cultural Intelligence Scale scores correlate with variables that are theoretically related to CQ, such as open-mindedness, cross-cultural empathy, and cross-cultural adaptability.

Discriminant validity: The CQS scores do not correlate significantly with variables that are not theoretically related to CQ, such as intelligence quotient (IQ) and emotional intelligence (EQ).

Available Versions

20-Items

Reference

Earley, P. C., & Ang, S. (2003). Cultural intelligence: Individual interactions across cultures.

Ang, S., Van Dyne, L., Koh, C., Ng, K. Y., Templer, K. J., Tay, C., & Chandrasekar, N. A. (2007). Cultural Intelligence Scale (CQS) [Database record]. APA PsycTests.
https://doi.org/10.1037/t24375-000

Important Link

Scale File:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Cultural Intelligence Scale (CQS)?
The Cultural Intelligence Scale (CQS) is a 20-item self-report rating scale that measures four dimensions of cultural intelligence (CQ): cognitive, motivational, metacognitive, and behavioral.

What are the dimensions of cultural intelligence (CQ)?
The four dimensions of CQ are:

  • Cognitive CQ: Knowledge of different cultures and their values, beliefs, and norms
  • Motivational CQ: Desire to learn about and interact with people from different cultures
  • Metacognitive CQ: Awareness of one’s own cultural values and biases
  • Behavioral CQ: Ability to adapt one’s communication style to different audiences

How is the CQS administered?

The CQS can be administered individually or in a group setting, and it can be self-administered or administered by a facilitator. Participants simply read each item carefully and rate their agreement or disagreement on a 5-point Likert scale.

How is the CQS scored?
Subscale scores are calculated by summing the item scores for each dimension of CQ. A total CQ score is then calculated by summing the subscale scores.

How is the CQS interpreted?

Subscale and total scores are compared to established norms or benchmarks to determine an individual’s strengths and weaknesses in CQ.

What are the benefits of measuring CQ with the CQS?
Measuring CQ with the CQS can help individuals and organizations:

  • Identify strengths and weaknesses in CQ for targeted development
  • Inform hiring and placement decisions
  • Assess overall CQ and identify areas for improvement
  • Prepare for success in a globalized world

Is the CQS reliable and valid?
Yes, the CQS has demonstrated strong reliability and validity through extensive research. It is a reliable and valid measure of CQ that can be used with confidence in a variety of settings.

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I am a senior clinical psychologist with over 11years of experience in the field. I am the founder of Psychology Roots, a platform that provides solutions and support to learners and professionals in psychology. My goal is to help people understand and improve their mental health, and to empower them to live happier and healthier lives.

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