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Acquisition and Retention of Cross-Cultural Interaction Skills Through Self-Confrontation

Report Number: AMRL TR 66-8
Author(s): Herbert T. Eachus; Philip H. King
Corporate Author: Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories
Laboratory: Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories
Date of Publication: 1966-05
Pages: 80
Contract: Laboratory Research - No Contract
Project: 1710
Task: 171008
AD Number: AD0637719

Abstract:
An experiment was conducted to assess relative effectiveness of two techniques for training United States Air Force military advisors in cross-cultural communicative skills. Retention of skills over time and effects of attitude on learning were also studied. A scenario required subjects to play the role of an Air Force Captain who had to interact in specified ways with a 'foreign counterpart,' a role played by a confederate of the experimenters. Subjects were to perform 57 distinct behaviors appropriate to the situation and to the fictitious cultural description, which gave either a positive, negative, or neutral impression of the culture. Sixty-six male subjects were divided into two groups and taught the desired behaviors either by extensive reading of training manuals followed by three role-playing sessions or by less reading but with self-confrontation by a videotape replay between successive role-play trials. Subjects returned and performed the same role again either 1 day, 1 week, or 2 weeks following initial training. Self-confrontation proved superior to manual reading in training the desired behaviors. Subjects with positive attitudes toward the culture learned fastest. Retention of skills learned through self-confrontation was high. A discussion of planned future research on cross-cultural training techniques and programs is given.

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