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Differences Between the IDI and the DMIS

The Intercultural Development Inventory measures one's placement along the Intercultural Development Continuum (IDC), which was adapted from the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS). Overall, testing associated with the development of the IDI largely supported the DMIS with some adjustments. 

  • The DMIS identifies Denial, Defense, Reversal, Minimization, Acceptance, Adaptation, and Integration as the primary stages of intercultural development. IDI validation confirmed Denial, Polarization (which consists of Defense and Reversal), Minimization, and Adaptation as the primary orientations of intercultural competence.
    • During the development of the IDI, it was found that Integration (or more simply, having a sense of cultural identity) was not a developmental stage indicating increased intercultural competence, but rather characteristics of an identity, of which aspects could be found across multiple stages. Thus, Integration is not a stage included in the IDI.
    • Similarly, encapsulated marginality is conceptualized as being "stuck" between cultures in some way, and can also be found across various levels of intercultural development. 
  • In the DMIS, Minimization is an ethnocentric stage. IDI research indicates that the
    Minimization Orientation is a transitional orientation between monocultural and intercultural mindsets.

You can read more about the research that took place in the development of the IDC and IDI in these articles:

  • Measuring intercultural sensitivity: The intercultural development inventory
  • The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI): An Approach for Assessing and Building Intercultural Competence (especially, see the footnotes at the end for a discussion about encapsulated marginality) (article below) 
  • The Intercultural Development Inventory: A New Frontier in Assessment and Development of Intercultural Competence chapter has some more information about the differences between the IDI and the DMIS. (article below) 

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