One size (test) does not fit all

Anjonet Jordaan -- Fri, 09/04/2015 - 15:52

One size (test) does not fit all

One test does not fit all, especially not those from different cultural groups. In a quest to help academics and professionals in the field of psychology and related fields with test adaptation and acculturation, the Optentia Research Focus Area on the North-West University's (NWU's) Vaal Triangle Campus will host a workshop with Prof Fons van de Vijver from Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

Prof Van de Vijver is an extraordinary professor with Optentia. He has published more than 400 publications primarily on cross-cultural psychology. The main topics under his investigation involve bias and equivalence, psychological acculturation and multiculturalism, cognitive similarities and differences, response styles, translations and adaptations.

Prof Fons van de Vijver from Tilburg University, the Netherlands and extraordinary professor with Optentia Research Focus Area


What this workshop is about

The workshop will discuss two related topics. The first is test adaptations: how can we adapt tests developed for one cultural group for other cultural groups? Prof Van de Vijver will present and illustrate a theoretical framework for test adaptations, which distinguishes between different types of adaptations. As an exercise, the suitability and need for adaptation of some Western instruments in the personality domain will be evaluated.

The second topic is acculturation. Originally developed as a concept to describe the psychological consequences of prolonged contact between cultural groups, the concept has been mainly applied in mainstream psychology to study the experiences of migrants.

The concept of acculturation is not without problems in South Africa where the ethnic culture is usually well defined but the mainstream culture is less well defined. Does it refer to the so-called Rainbow Nation; to the white business culture? Prof Van de Vijver will present models of acculturation and discuss their applicability to South Africa. The link between the two themes is the challenge to deal with the diverse nature of the South African population in psychological studies and practice.


To book your seat

This workshop will take place on 9 September 2015, from 8:00 – 12:00 in the Optentia Indaba Room, Building 7 in North-West University’s Vaal Triangle Campus (Vanderbijlpark).

RSVP by 7 September 2015 to:

Optentia logo


* The mission of the Optentia Research Focus Area is to develop and organise knowledge for the optimal expression of individual, social and institutional potential, with specific interest in the African context. The research programme utilises the inputs from various disciplines in the social sciences, including Psychology, Industrial/Organisational Psychology, Educational Psychology, Sociology, Educational Sciences, Employment Relations, and Social Work. To learn more about Optentia visit their website.