Intercultural Communication Competence Standards and Criteria

Renzhong Peng's picture

The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)
Dr. Milton Bennett of the Portland-based Intercultural Communication Institute Bennett created the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (See "Experience of Difference"), which shows a progression of stages people may go through in developing intercultural competency. Since then, he has partnered with Dr. Mitch Hammer of American University to develop the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). The inventory is a set of statements that allows an individual to assess his/her developmental stage of intercultural sensitivity according to the DMIS. Both IDI and the underlying DMIS theory-based model are culture-general in nature. DMIS addresses cross cultural difference independent of the type of difference. Cultural difference stemming from national, regional, societal, family, organization, and individual characteristics all come within the scope of DMIS. IDI as a tool is seen as valuable because it measures people's ability to experience difference in relatively complex ways. Unlike many other instruments, it does not compare a person to typical behaviors and it does not analyze behavioral reactions. IDI operates at the worldview level of how a person feels and thinks about cultural difference. This deeper level of one’s cognitive experience is what guides and limits behavior. The IDI aids individuals in learning to understand and develop their intercultural competence, which will generate behavioral change. The IDI is a scientifically valid and reliable psychometric instrument.

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