Tilburg University department Social Psychology

Cross-cultural Research Methods

Date: Time: 10:00 Location: Online workshop

A two-day course for current and aspiring researchers, 21-24 March 2022

The hofstede centre organizes a two-day course in cooperation with Tilburg University (Netherlands) in cross-cultural research in psychology and culture, combining a conceptual and a statistical approach. We focus on two main themes conducted by two scholars in their respective fields:

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.


The first theme 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 second theme is statistical analysis. It is often seen as a tool through which a researcher discovers a truth 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.


  • March 21: 10.00 – 13.00 EET (theme 1)
  • March 22: 10.00 – 14.00 EET (theme 1)
  • March 23: 10.00 – 13.00 EET (theme 2)
  • March 24: 10.00 – 14.00 EET (theme 2)

On the second and fourth day, the time between 13.00 and 14.00 is reserved for an extensive discussion of participants’ research projects and for a Q&A.

Prerequisites for the course

Participants should have SPSS installed on their computers to be able to complete the exercises. Please note that there are websites where you can purchase SPSS with an educational discount (e.g., www.surfspot.nl), but an affiliation with a Dutch (European) educational institution is required. Many Universities have other ways of providing discounted versions (please note that student versions can sometimes be limited in functionality, check the package). If you do not need SPSS otherwise, you can download the SPSS trial version shortly before the course. Please also note that a basic command of the options and functionality in SPSS is necessary, as the course is not an introduction into the program.

Participants do not need any advanced knowledge of statistics but they should be familiar with a few basic notions, such as a correlation between variables and statistical significance. 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.

Practical Information

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

Contact at Tilburg University: Michael Bender, m.bender@tilburguniversity.edu, Department of Social Psychology


Please visit the following Hofstede Insights website to register for the course.


Michael Bender (m.bender@tilburguniversity.edu) can be contacted for questions, and to mail your application for the scholarship. 

Past workshops:

  • 15-18 November, 2021
  • March 22-25, 2021
  • 7 and 8 June, 2019
  • 23 and 24 November, 2018
  • 25 and 26 May, 2018
  • November 3 and 4, 2017
  • June 23 and 24, 2017
  • October 8 and 9, 2016
  • November 26 and 27, 2015