While interacting with someone from a different culture, a person may experience complex differences, differences that are not only unfamiliar but also unidentifiable. Frequently, that individual asks, “Is it culture? Or is it personality?” It may be both.

Moreover, for most people, the need to answer this question about the relative influence of culture and personality does not normally arise except when anticipating or actually engaging in an intercultural relationship. Producing a provisional answer to questions about the role of personality and culture requires a minimum of three steps.

Developing a plausible response to each of these steps provides a baseline for enhancing intercultural competence.

The time required for these steps depends on how thoroughly the perspectives on culture and personality are understood and the amount of time ...

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