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Multicultural Psychology - Research Methodology

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Research Methodology

The following paper will look at two research variables, observation and sampling. Both of these variables will be looked at closely when using traditional research methodology as well as multicultural research methodology. The paper will then compare and contrast the two variables when using both research methods. The paper will also address the fundamental problems encountered by researchers during the implication of the two variables cross-culturally.

Research Methodology

Research methodology defines the process of research, how to proceed, what to use to measure the progress and determines what constitutes success. Traditional methodology requires the research to be ethical but does not necessarily take into count cultural integrity. Multicultural methodology includes cross-cultural participants and endeavors to include race, socioeconomic class and other cultural aspects. Researchers need to be aware of the broad scope of the dimensions of ethnicity, race, gender, language, sexual orientation, age, disability, education, spiritual, or religious orientation, socioeconomic class, and other cultural dimensions (Ponterotto, 1998).


Gathering data is made simple using the technique of observation. The trained researchers observe different behaviors of the participants. The behavior being observed first must be defined by the researcher. Direct behavioral observation requires ways to quantify the behaviors under observation (Bordens & Abbott, 2011). Ways to quantify behaviors in observational studies include methods of frequency, duration, and intervals. Frequency method is recording the number of times the behavior occurred within a time period. Duration method is how long the behavior lasted. The interval method is a time period being divided into discrete time intervals then record if the behavior occurred within each interval (Bordens & Abbott, 2011). To make effective observations, researchers need to use special techniques to deal with the rate which the behavior being observed occurs.


A solution to the problem is to sample the behavior under observation rather than attempt to record every occurrence of the behavior. There are three different sampling techniques to choose from, time sampling, individual sampling, and event sampling. Time sampling is a technique where scanning the group for a specific period of time and then record the observed behavior for the next period of time. Alternating between both periods for as long as possible is a must. Individual sampling is selecting a single subject for observation over a given time period and record the behavior. After the time period, choose another subject in the observed group and repeat. Event sampling is the observing of only one behavior and recording all instances of that behavior (Bordens & Abbott, 2011).


Multicultural pertains to many cultures as a whole. Multicultural is more than one culture living in the same area or worldwide. Multicultural is multiple ways of knowing worldviews (Hall, 2010). Multicultural psychology often endeavors to combine naturalistic observations with more structured techniques (Segall, Dasen, Berry, & Poortinga, 1999). The primary observation problem in a multicultural setting is what to observe and the same goes for cross-cultural designs. Different cultures see different behaviors as normal and as abnormal. Cross-culturally, knowing the behaviors definition and if the behavior is normal or abnormal is key. Researchers should do additional research on the behavior being compared to a cross-culture. Opinions about the behavior influenced by one's own cultural background could lead to the researched to become biases. When looking at multicultural sampling, the sample size can cause problems. The representativeness of the sample has to be generalized by the population. When looking at cross-cultural studies, working with samples that are different from each other, both the differences



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