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I'm a QA and I don't think my respondent's IDI scores are accurate. What can I do?

This article is intended for licensed IDI Qualified Administrators. If you are not a licensed IDI Qualified Administrator and are interested in being licensed to use the Intercultural Development Inventory, visit this article: Should I become an IDI Qualified Administrator (QA)?


IDI Qualified Administrators (QAs) must be cautious to not make assumptions about characteristics or views of individuals and how those might relate to how the person experiences cultural differences and similarities. In general, trying to determine at face value where people may fall on the Intercultural Development Continuum (IDC) is highly discouraged. It has been shown that people are not very accurate at determining their own level of cultural competence, let alone being able to correctly determine the level of others. This is why an empirical, validated psychometric instrument was created. In addition, we are unaware of any supporting evidence that particular characteristics are associated with particular IDC orientations. 

As the QA. you should enter the Individual Debrief leaving behind any assumptions you may have about the respondent's results. Ask questions of the respondent to gain accurate information to help them connect their experiences with their results, such as the following:

  • How was your experience completing the IDI? 
  • Tell me about your experiences across cultures and cultural differences. 
  • What has been challenging in trying to engage across cultural differences?
  • What has been rewarding in engaging across cultural differences?

After speaking to the respondent and hearing their unique perspective, if you are still feeling like the results may be inaccurate, you should return to page 2 of the report to consider whether:

(1) the participant responded to each of the statements in the IDI honestly

  • If so, then the IDI profile will be an accurate indicator of their approach for dealing with cultural differences and commonalities.

(2) whether the participant had or is currently experiencing a significant professional or personal transitional experience related to culture (e.g., moving to another country, traumatic event, etc.).

  • If so, the respondent may wish to reflect on how this transitional situation may impact how they make sense of cultural differences and commonalities. In this case, an individual’s results will still be valid of their current experience, and will present an accurate portrait of how the person is making sense of cultural differences.


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