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Cultural Intelligence and Social Adaptability: A Comparison between Iranian and Non-Iranian Dormitory Students of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences

Batoul Soltani, Mahmoud Keyvanara.

Abstract
Introduction: At the modern age, to acquire knowledge and experience, the individuals with their own specific culture have to enter contexts with cultural diversity, adapt to different cultures and have social interactions to be able to have effective inter-cultural relationships.To have such inter-cultural associations and satisfy individual needs in the society, cultural intelligence and social adaptability are deemed as inevitable requirements, in particular for those who enter a quite different culture. Hence, the present study tries to compare the cultural intelligence and its aspects and social adaptability in Iranian and non-Iranian dormitory students of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in 2012. Methodology: The study was of descriptive-analytical nature. The research population consisted of Iranian and non-Iranian students resided in the dormitories of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences which are 2500, totally. For Iranian students, two-stage sampling method was adopted. At the first stage, classified sampling and at the second stage, systematic random sampling was conducted. In this way, 441 students were selected. To form non-Iranian students’ sample, consensus sampling method was applied and a sample of 37 students were obtained. The research data was collected by using Earley & Ang’s Cultural Intelligence Questionnaire with the Cronbach’s coefficient α of 76% and California Social Adaptability Standard Questionnaire with the Cronbach’s coefficient α of over 70%. Then, the data were put into SPSS software to be analyzed. Finally, the results were presented by descriptive and inferential statistics methods. Results: The study findings revealed that there was no statistically significant difference between cultural intelligence and cognitive aspect of cultural intelligence in Iranian and non-Iranian students (P≥0/05). However, Iranian and non-Iranian students statistically differed in terms of the following aspects of cultural intelligence: meta-cognitive aspect (61.8% for Iranian students vs. 47.6% for non-Iranians), motivational aspect (59.0% vs. 42.6%), behavioral aspect (31.8% vs. 41.2%) as well as social adaptability as the other variable in question ( 68.9% vs. 56.2%) (p‹0.001). Conclusion: The comparison of the mean scores gained for meta-cognitive and motivational aspects of cultural intelligence as well as social adaptability in Iranian and non-Iranian students resided in the dormitories of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences revealed that the Iranian students had the higher rank. On the other hand, the mean score acquired for the behavioral aspect in Iranian and non-Iranian students were comparable, with non-Iranian students having the higher mean scores. Therefore, it can be said that the meta-cognitive and motivational aspects of cultural intelligence and social adaptability of non-Iranian students and the behavioral aspect of Iranian students’ cultural intelligence may be promoted by educational

Key words: culture, intelligence, cultural intelligence, social adaptability.


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