Cross-cultural Research Methods

A two-day course for current and aspiring researchers

We, The hofstede centre, are regularly approached by research fellows seeking our assistance in realizing their cross-cultural research project successfully.

We therefore have taken the initiative to organize a two-day course in cooperation with the University of Tilburg (Netherlands) in cross-cultural research in psychology and culture, combining a conceptual and a statistical approach. We focus on two main themes conducted by three renowned scholars in their respective fields:

  • Cross-cultural analysis in psychology, at the level of individuals, by Prof.  Fons van de Vijver, PhD. (For his most relevant publications please click here) and Prof. Michael Bender, PhD (For his most relevant publications please click here.)
  • Cross-cultural analysis at the level of societies (nations, regions, sub-national  groups) by Prof.  Michael Minkov, PhD. (For his most relevant publications please click here.)
  • For additional literature please click here.

Cross-cultural research is a booming field for academics and practitioners alike. As our knowledge expands, we are increasingly aware of the field's complexity and the need for researchers to appreciate the numerous controversies that characterize it.

“I found the session on Quantitative Methods in Cross-Cultural Research particularly intriguing, and I appreciate the time taken to address my many questions. I am quite motivated to keep up my self-study on this research area and the methodological approaches to exploring it.” Giselle Antoine, Lecturer of the Al-Faisal University, Saudi Arabia

Practical Information

The course is designed for advanced Master students, PhD students, and young researchers.

As we do this as a service to the scientific community, we offer this course below cost price, thus keeping the costs for participants as low as possible.


The theme of the first day is preparation for analysis of cross - cultural data. We will cover issues such as the nature of culture and various approaches to the study of culture. Some of the controversial topics that we will discuss are definitions of culture (What is culture and what is not culture? Where does culture come from? What creates cultural differences?), data selection (What kind of survey participants should we choose? What kind of items work or do not work?), levels of analysis (the difference between studying individuals and societies), etic versus emic approaches ( Should we use a single research tool across many societies or develop a specific research tool for each society of interest?), etc.

The theme of the second day is statistical analysis. It is often seen as a tool through which a researcher discovers a trut h hidden in the data. This apparent simplicity misleads many people, including some experienced scholars.

In fact, a large and complex dataset can be analysed in different ways creating different results, which sometimes are contradictory. In that case, the goal of the statistical analysis is not to find the one and only one truth that hides in the data but to create a scientifically acceptable truth: a solution that Learn more proves to be practically useful. This means that the chosen solution should explain (interesting phenomena as logically and parsimoniously as possible). During the course, participants will be introduced to the analysis of complex datasets of societal variables and will have an opportunity to perform and interpret such analyses personally. Each participant will receive an SPSS dataset containing country scores on all popular dimensions of national culture (Hofstede's, Inglehart's, Bond's, Schwartz's, Project GLOBE's and more), as well as various national indicators: values from the World Values Survey, GDP per person in different years, national educational achievement and national IQ, a rule-of-law index, a corruption index, road death tolls, suicide rates, homicide rates, climatic data, prevalence of infectious diseases, tobacco consumption, genetic data, et c. These datasets will be analys ed, using different statistical tools for different purposes

Prerequisites for the course

Participants must come to class with their own laptop on which SPSS has been installed.

Participants do not need any advanced knowledge of statistics but it will be helpful if they are familiar with a few basic notions, such as correlation between variables and statistical significance. Note however, that even some of these basic concepts will be re-examined in class (especially statistical significance) as most people tend to hold incorrect concepts of them.

What you as participants will get


  • Input to do a better job to conduct cross-cultural research and to write a thesis
  • The facilities in which the workshop will be conducted
  • Two lunches, coffee break
  • Dinner at the end of the first day
  • Two days will cost: € 500,-
“The content was high quality. Statistics-wise, it was an appropriate level (especially) for PhD (and potential PhD) students, but the underlying logic and the conceptual part can certainly be helpful for many participants. The instructors are great, very clear and passionate about research.” Participant, 2016

Upcoming Workshops

Date Course type Location Additional Information Registration
June 23-24 2017
Workshop: Cross-Cultural Research
Tilburg, The Netherlands Participants are strongly advised
to bring their laptop
with SPSS installed