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To share her knowledge and wisdom regarding contextualizing social science research results according to cultural norms of different countries.
Guest Speaker: Dr Hansika Kapoor
Participants: Doctoral Students from E4Life and CWEGE/Ammachi Labs at Amrita University
Dr. Hansika Kapoor is a Research Author at the Department of Psychology, Monk Prayogshala, Mumbai since July 2011. Monk Prayogshala is an independent not-for-profit academic research institute, striving to improve the academic research environment in India, starting with the social sciences. She is also an Affiliate at the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut.
She holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and a PhD from IIT, Bombay in the area of creativity. She completed a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship (2019-2020) working with Prof. James C. Kaufman at the University of Connecticut.
Her work has been published in several international peer-reviewed academic journals, such as Creativity Research Journal, Thinking Skills and Creativity, and Personality and Individual Differences. She also regularly contributes to popular media publications, including Aeon Magazine, Psychology Today, Mint, and Firstpost.
Dr Hansika is also available for consultation on projects relating to academia-industry collaborations as well psychometric test development and assessment. She is also happy to share inputs on journalistic work in her areas of expertise.
Dr. Hansika started her lecture by introducing the participants to models that help researchers identify contextual aspects for doing behavioral interventions and research in India, as there are differences that can be observed when analyzing social science research as compared to research in this area in other places in the world. The first model she shows is one that identifies common morals throughout the world, independent of the specific culture. Much of her current work is based on Moral Foundations Theory (Jonathan Haidt). These foundations are “Moral Pillars”, which are universal, despite cultural diversity in ethical principles. There are 5 pillars that she divides into two categories: Individualizing foundations (care, fairness), and binding foundations (loyalty, authority, and purity). Dr Hansika points out that ethics are extrinsic and based on societal norms whereas morals are more of an individualistic societies and the other 3 are more collectivist societies, such as aligning with national pride in a moralistic manner. These concepts are definitely worth looking into further regarding issues where such behaviors are affected in these matters, such as using nudging as a means for behavior change. For example, using social, culture, religious motifs painted on walls that are meant to prevent defacement, urination and open defecation. She pointed out that building toilets is a great idea, but how do you encourage people to use them? One needs to consider social contextualizing within research locations.
Another diagram that Dr. Hansika showed the class is Hofstede’ Cultural Dimensions (1984): Orientations at the Country and Individual Level that can Influence Behavior. According to this model there are 6 indices that need to be looked at that can affect behavior change that can be measured in different cultural settings. One is the Power Distance Index. For example, in India, the extent to which an individual within a certain cultural setup accepts and expects power to be delivered unequally (denotes large power distance), whereas in the US it expected to be much smaller. Please refer to the photo below.
In another example, Dr Hansika presented a bar graph comparing China, India, and the US, in terms of these indices: Power Distance, Individualism, Masculinity, Uncertainty Avoidance, Long Term Orientation, and Indulgence. These can be used when conducting research along different countries.
Students learned a lot about what statistics should be included when looking at research that influences behavior change in different cultures. There were many questions at the end of the talk where researches looked into how these models could influence their own work.
Attendance /No.of participants: 44
Male- 23 Female -21
List of the participants:
Source of Funding : E4Life PhD Scholarship fund, Ammachi Labs, CWEGE Flyer