Tag Archives: Study

Certificates of Awareness

You can book a 1-to-1 online session to earn your Awareness Certificates as there are currently, due to Covid-19, no onsite nor group events happening.

You can choose from the 18 topics available, each qualifying for a session certificate. For a bundle of 6 sessions, the school issues a module certificate, and for the completion of the whole program (18 sessions), you are granted the highly distinguishable program-level certificate.

Session / Module / Proram list:

For questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at goodthings@mathias-sager.com.

Missing systematics and links in science

Chapter 8 – Missing systematics and links in science

mathias sager Awareness Intelligence
mathias sager Awareness Intelligence

In most of today’s scientific research, I find it still difficult to see how the link between the universe and human psychology is made. It seems like current awareness is not up to seeing the study of the human mind being first and uttermost linked to overarching factors such as

The human soul that is connected to the universal consciousness and cosmic time.

mathias sager (Awareness Intelligence)

As French Henri Poincare described so well “Science is built up of facts, as a house is built of stones; but an accumulation of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.” In the context of understanding life and its signification for human existence overall, some dots undoubtedly remain unconnected. Henri Poincare who died in 1912, is considered the ‘The Last Universalist’ in mathematics since he mastered all the disciplines at once. If today’s specialized scientific fields work in silos and are hindering inter-disciplinary cooperation, it might indeed be the case that

A lot of knowledge is not brought into a more meaningful context and does not result into a house of wisdom that benefits and protects all humanity in a broader sense.

mathias sager (Awareness Intelligence)

Project and productivity management skills to organize business processes are taught everywhere and on all levels of the education system. Surprisingly, the same diligence is not applied to the mental world.

  • How can we think about our thinking and improve it for our own and others’ well-being?
  • How can we critically check our awareness to make sure we don’t miss any essential aspects?

The answers to these questions determine how we care for the world, and yet they are not discussed systematically enough in school. To quote the Buddha, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” I think it is overdue to build wholesome human attitudes, which is to

Think more and in different ways about how we develop and use awareness.

mathias sager (Awareness Intelligence)

So far:

Chapter 1 – Life’s introduction of Awareness Intelligence

Chapter 2 – The awarenessland of Awaria

Chapter 3 – Your life that is humantime

Chapter 4 – Consciousness, awareness, and social intelligence

Chapter 5 – Broadening the social scope

Chapter 6 – Increasing the attention span

Chapter 7 – Distraction of the mass

Coming next:

Chapter 9 – Spiritual consumerism and mystification of spiritualism

For the Love of Learning

For the love of learning!:-)
October 10th, 19:00 at J-Global, B2 Yaesuguchi Kaikan, 1-7-20 Yaesu, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 〒103-0028

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“We shouldn’t teach great lessons, we should teach a love of learning.” [- Inspired by B.F. Skinner]

80% is Psychology

School brochure download

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Courses Tailored to Your Needs

All courses are based on latest research and consistently assume a cross-cultural and cooperative perspective. The courses aim to equip the participants with practical tools for personal and career success and can be tailored to your needs, on-site and through eLearning.

For increased

  • Self-Efficacy
  • Creativity
  • Innovation

All the lessons are available as focused lectures or interactive workshop and are complemented with accompanying material, further readings, exercises, group works, and quizzes/tests.

Mathias Sager

I’m standing with my name for it.



  • Multi-Disciplinary: Combining knowledge from psychology, art, technology, and business for holistic approaches.
  • Cross-Cultural: Using cross-cultural competencies and agility to bridge cultural gaps for the benefit of our diverse participants.
  • Inter-Generational: Empowering to learn, strategize, and develop with tailored solutions according to lifespan development.



Sample C o u r s e   A



To understand the psychological and behavioural processes on which lasting learning results from experience.


In this course, participants will get input about major learning theories and get to understand of how humans do learn, process and remember information. Course participants will also consider and get examples on how practitioners can use these theories to explain behavior in cross-cultural contexts.

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Sample C o u r s e   B



To provide participants an understanding of leadership from a psychological perspective, and to examine the impact of culture on leadership success.


In this course, participants will study leadership challenges from a several different psychological perspectives, gaining an understanding of more or less effective leadership styles across different cultures and contexts, and the ethical use of power and influence.

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Sample C o u r s e   C



To develop an understanding of the psychological aspects around human capital development, cultural agility, and the impact and effectiveness of different global talent management strategies.


This course explores the interaction between personality, leadership types, and individual learning styles. Course participants will evaluate the psychological concept of talent and study the criteria for attracting, retaining and developing talent globally. Participants will also consider the effectiveness and fairness of global talent management strategies and their impact at individual and organizational levels.

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O n l i n e   C o u r s e s

Developing Leadership Skills

The course ‘Developing Leadership Skills’ is a compelling summary of latest research and good practices that may well become your passport to explore new ways of effective leadership styles, increased levels of motivation, and untapped creativity.

Whether you are an HR practitioner, an aspiring or current leader, an executive coach, or a student, this logically structured course will help you in becoming personally and professionally more effective and efficient. You are offered practical tools for insight and understanding of your possible

  • roles in team situations,
  • conflict management style,
  • successful negotiation strategies,
  • stress management,
  • motivation,
  • better decision-making, as well as
  • unlocking of your innovation capacity.

The goal of this course is to make sure you will find answers to the questions that are relevant for personal growth and a thriving career. Compact, straightforward, and with numerous references to further information, the interdisciplinary, innovative, and cross-cultural knowledge and perspectives presented in the twelve short lectures will benefit your well-being and success as a dynamic leader and the common good alike.

Go to the eLearning

T h e   T e a c h e r

Researcher & Educator


Mathias’ transferable skills and experience are in education, business administration, advisory, risk management, and psychology and learning & development to facilitate change from a cross-cultural perspective. He has led  quality and complex programs successfully working with diverse teams and collaborating interdisciplinary with stakeholders to achieve innovative solutions. Mathias has worked as a teacher, a leadership trainer, as well as a senior manager responsible for client relationships, counseling, and virtual teams around the world. Also, he’s a social entrepreneur and serving as a strategy and leadership advisor for various clients.


  • Cross-cultural developmental psychology
  • Psychology of Learning
  • Global Talent Management (GTM)
  • Leadership and Business Administration
  • Strategic Thinking, ICT, and Risk and Program Management

Work Experience

Visiting Researcher at University of Tokyo (Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies)

  • Founder of the Platform Cooperativism Japan (PCJ) Consortium
  • Research collaboration related to the PCJ

Strategy Advisory and Project Management Services for International Technology Companies in Japan and India

  • Strategy and concept
  • Branding, Marketing, and P&R
  • Project Management

Occasional Instructor Leadership & Organizational Development at J-Globalgroup

  • Conceptualization of a Learning & Development model
  • Event facilitator and Instructor

Senior Manager | Financial Services (Advisory) at Ernst & Young ShinNihon LLC

  • Global lead and coordination of IT advisory, risk, assurance, and compliance projects for Japanese and International clients in the Financial Services sector
  • Team leader and counselor in the International IT Risk and Assurance practice
  • Cross-service line and multidisciplinary team and business development

Senior Manager, Advisory Services | EMEIA Financial Services, Ernst & Young AG

  • Advisory Services IT Risk and Assurance Insurance Services Team Leader Switzerland
  • Learning champion for the national IT Advisory practice, including design and deployment of learning maps, including the coordination and delivery of training and recruitment
  • Design, implementation and lead of project management office services

Trainer/Lecturer at the Akademie der Treuhandkammer (academy of the Institute of Certified Accountants and Tax Consultants)

  • Conception and realization (train the trainer and lecturer) of the Modules “Audit” and “Professional Judgment: Process oriented audit”

Trainer for Leadership Communication at the Centre for Information and Communication of the Swiss Army (ZIKA)

  • Leadership communication and conflict management trainer for public services personnel
  • Communications manager of the Center for Information and Communications of the Swiss Army

High School Teacher, Rupperswil

  • Class tutor, all courses


  • Cross-cultural developmental psychology
  • Psychology of Learning
  • Global Talent Management (GTM)
  • Leadership, Business Administration, and Project Management


-Diploma in Psychology (MSc program University of Liverpool), 2016 – 2018

-Executive MBA in ICT Management, University of Fribourg, 2010 – 2014

-Bachelor in Information Management, IFA, 2005 – 2007

-Postgraduate Certificate in Crisis Communication, 2006 – 2006

-Bachelor in Education Science, University of Neuchâtel, Higher Pedagogical Institute, Zofingen, 1995 – 1998

Language Fluency

  • Native German speaker;
  • Professional business level English



The Development of Cultural Agility (A Literature Review)

mathias-sager-cultural-agility copy


Advancing globalization requires new workplace competencies [1]. Among Global Talent Managers, there is the sobering realization that people working in an increasingly global environment find themselves challenged in acquiring the necessary cultural agility [2] In today’s world Global talent management, mobility, and cultural agility belong together [3]. “Bridging the global skills gap” through international assignments was rated as a priority for more than 1,200 globally surveyed CEO’s ([4]. p. 19).

The term “cultural agility” was already used before as, for example, by Freedman (2003) who saw cultural agility to be needed in teams working around the world [5]. In Caligiuri’s (2012) book, the same is more specifically defined as a mega “Mega-competency that enables professionals to perform successfully in cross-cultural situations . . . [it is] a combination of natural abilities, motivation to succeed, guided training, coaching, and development over time” ([6] pp. 4–5). In Caligiuri’s work, one can find a later leaner version that goes as follows: “Cultural agility is the ability to quickly, comfortably and effectively work in different cultures and with people from different cultures” [7]. Other researchers accepted cultural agility to play a role in cross-cultural professional contexts [8].

Theoretical background

As per the analysis of Gibbs and Boyraz (2015), cultural intelligence (CQ), global mindset, and cultural agility are sometimes used interchangeably, and most scholars might agree that these concepts are in minimum inter-related [9]. In the form the cultural agility mega-competency is broken down into four categories that are behavioral, psychological, cross-cultural interactions and decisions, and comprising of a dozen more specific components, cultural agility seems to contain all that is needed to perform successfully in cross-cultural settings [10]. The so-called “jangle fallacy” (Kelley, 1927, as cited in Brenneman, Klafehn, Burrus, Roberts, & Kochert, 2016) exists when a construct is conceptualized differently and, therefore, also named otherwise [11]. This is roughly what was found when analyzing four frameworks related to the field of cross-cultural competency (C3) [11]. A generally agreed-upon definition of C3 is that it is the “knowledge, skills, and affect/motivation that enable individuals to adapt effectively in cross-cultural environments” [12].

Multinational enterprises (MNEs) today often use the term “cultural agility” to describe their expectations regarding employees’ “flexibility.” The ability to adapt culturally intelligent to local situations, from such a usage perspective, addresses the need to be responsive in a global marketplace [13]. Cognitive complexity refers to the ability to switch between distinct cultural demands [14] and strikingly illustrates how agility suggests “movement” as an organizing principle [15]. “Cultural adaptiveness” in that sense is only one out of three possible “responding moves” that define cultural agility. The second is “cultural minimization” that is required from an employee when putting a supervisor’s command above a cultural norm, and third, there is “cultural integration” that is the consideration of concurrent cultures as, for example, in a multi-cultural team [16].

Some authors also distinguish cultural learning and cultural agility as two aspects of 3C ([10]; [17]), matching the discrimination between “understanding about” and “knowing to use knowledge” as pointed to in Hounsell (2016) [18]. It is the notion of cultural agility that is meant to be required to integrate cultural inclusion respectively to use the knowledge of inclusion to manifest it in a behavior that is producing inclusive organizational results [19]. Therefore, for the further course of this systematic review, the following short definition is used: Cultural agility is “related to the ability … to use your cross-cultural learning effectively” [20]. Training and development are significant for International Human Resources Management (IHRM) [9]. The question to be investigated by this research aims to shed light on how much focus exists in the literature on the “usage” aspect of cultural knowledge. A systematic review shall provide for the answer by analyzing the relative emphasis put on training (i.e., specific knowledge/skills acquisition) as compared to development (i.e., a longer-term gathering of experiences and lessons learned as applicable fur improved cultural agility). Furthermore, developmental approaches shall be studied and reported to potentially support GTM practices in their challenge to extend their repertoire of available approaches and measures.

For Methodology and Results details, see Appendix A.


Similar to this systematic review’s finding that only 20% of the analyzed articles did specify cultural agility in connection with training and development, others found that only one out of four companies do assess cultural intelligence or agility in their international assignment candidates [22]. Although in Lundby and Caligiuri’s (2013) survey cultural agility was rated as the third most important senior leader quality, the results of this review tendentially lean to support existing gaps in delivering brand success in GTM and a related need for not only training technical skills but developing cultural agility competencies [19], [23]. Foreign culture on-site programs like the Cultural Agility Leadership Lab (CALL) [24] may be effective solutions to narrow the gap. Interactional experiences with peers from other cultures seem to be an effective path to develop cultural agility [25].

Implications and future research

The findings and discussion in this article imply that experiential development opportunities should be sought by GTM practices to supplement a learning system towards increased effectiveness in developing cultural agility [1]. A stronger link between organizations GTM function and their international assignee selection should be established. Psychological measures like the Cultural Agility Climate Index (CACI) could be used to support candidate and assignment effectiveness assessments [22]. Measuring the current state would provide for the basis justifying the sustainable investment into cultural agility competencies [19]. Watson (2014) found that diversity and inclusiveness training is standard practice, while the long-term building of cultural agility was found to be a less usual investment [19].

A facet of cultural agility this study came across too is the motivational component of the construct. While “willingness” had been included already in earlier conceptualizations of cultural agility [10], the term “agility” does not naturally imply such a component. Interestingly, Caligiuri, Baytalskaya, and Lazarova (2016) came later up with a construct of “cultural humility” and found evidence for its effectiveness in enhancing leadership skills, performance, and engagement [26]. It would be interesting to see how the concepts of cultural agility and cultural humility could be integrated as some scholars still see cultural agility and the will for cultural adaptation as complementary rather than inclusive concepts [27].


More research should have been done to evaluate the precision of the use of the terms “training” and “development” in the analysis of this systematic review. It can be that the inclusion of synonyms or the more in-depth study and interpretation of the literature analyzed would have led to different results. Also, relying on Google scholar search and only processing around 30% of the results does not represent an as complete study as possible. Also, the result interpretation may be biased as it was not benchmarked against any further industry standards than mentioned in the article.


This study identifies components and evaluates the focus on training and development in the cultural agility literature. This paper found introductory that cultural agility potentially surpasses the scope of cross-cultural competency (C3) as it entails a behaviorally consequential nature that makes it especially practical for GTM considerations [11]. On the other side, possible motivational aspects of cultural agility need to be further clarified.

In any case, for various sectors in a continuously globalizing world, the development of cultural agility through experiential means such as mobility programs [8] could gain even more popularity as a promising success factor for MNEs’ search and development of talents.



Appendix A


Research design

This study assumed a descriptive, quantitative analysis-based approach of a systematic literature review. Systematic reviews help the creation of a scientifically derived summary of available evidence [21]. It is not known to the author of this review that another study did systematically review the research question related to training and development focus on promoting cultural agility.

Data collection

The systematic review as designed in this article first selected from the University of Liverpool (UOL) discovery database books, e-journals, and theses with the search term “cultural agility.” Second, the Google Scholar search widget on the same (UOL) portal with the same search term was used to retrieve more documents. The UOL discovery database search found 13 documents published in 2012 or later, whose checking resulted in the exclusion of 2 irrelevant and one non-accessible (commercially protected) file, leaving 11 documents for analysis. The Google Scholar search found 424 results, of which 130 were books, e-articles, or theses. Out of the 130, 63 sources were accessible for download. The check for the inclusion criteria of equal or higher than the year 2012 further reduced the population to 47 documents that have been downloaded then and analyzed. The publication date 2012 as an inclusion criterion seemed appropriate considering this is the year of the publication of Paula Caligiuri’s book “Cultural Agility: Building a Pipeline of Successful Global Professionals.”

Data extraction and analysis

The analysis of the available documents included an in-document search for “agility” and “agile” to get to the section where a potential definition or description of cultural agility could be found; the according passages have been examined and studied for finding answers to the research question. In this process, additional 8 documents have been excluded due to irrelevance. The total number of included texts, therefore, was 50 and represents a significant amount of relevant and recent data sources across a broad range of scientific journals and other scholarly resources. The analysis report table documents copied text snippets from pertinent passages of the analyzed files. Due to space limitations, these were kept rather short without providing much further context.


Among the 50 documents derived from the databases and Google Scholar, nine were found to contain a mentioning or elaboration related to “training,” and six instances were found that include developmental aspects. Consequently, only 32% of the analyzed document did prominently refer to training and development in their section about cultural agility. A simultaneous presence of “training” and “development” appeared in five papers. In table 1, the 11 reportable results are outlined. The results indicate that more research articles do mention “training” as compared to “development” with regards to the concept of cultural agility. A couple of interesting operationalizations of cultural agility development were found as will be shown in the discussion section.

Table 1. Training and development in cultural agility related articles

1Mukerjee (2014). As universities become increasingly global in their reach and operations, cultural agility is likely to be a competency that will be sought after and reflected in the recruitment, training and development processes [8]xx
2Dinwoodie, Quinn, and McGuire (2014) Strategic Drivers for Leadership for expansion into international markets: Cultural agility—promote the predisposition to appreciate diversity and develop cultural intelligence to operate successfully in unfamiliar territories. [28] x
3Gibbs and Boyraz (2015) These concepts – cultural intelligence, global mindset and cultural agility – have each been extensively studied in terms of leadership, but they have yet to be applied to team level processes. For instance, Caligiuri (2012) regards cultural agility as a necessary skill of global business professionals. These professionals are usually CEOs and top managers responsible for more strategic organizational functions, who generally get more customized training, coaching, and development, rather than lower level virtual team members. / Attracting global team leaders and team members with the important skills needed to manage cultural diversity – cultural agility, global mindset, and CQ – is an issue with significant implications for IHRM, not only for training and development but also for selection of team members. [9]xx
4Hounsell (2016). The development in students of a global outlook or global mindset generally focuses on the internationalisation of curriculum content within and across disciplines or subject areas. The knowledge gained takes two main forms. The first is a fuller understanding about other nations and cultures, or the use of knowledge and perspectives derived in or from other nations and cultures, leading to what has sometimes been called ‘cultural versatility’ or ‘cultural agility’. In HKU’s overarching goals for four-year degrees, this is referred to as intercultural understanding. [18] x
5Vega (2012). The creation of an informative guide that addressed cultural agility in emergency medicine would benefit both the EMS and Vietnamese-American communities. [29]x 
6[30] Honnor (2013). Explains how the learning and development function at Infosys supports its global activities by developing competences that offer the organization global and cultural agility. x
7Synoground (2013). Cross-Cultural Competency (C3) has surfaced as the term to describe cultural ability and adaptability in personnel. Cultural Agility, a term coined by Dr. Paula Caligiuri, is used here to describe a degree of talent that surpasses C3. Using these concepts as a framework, the analysis herein will make suggestions designed to improve cross-cultural talent recognition and recruiting practices and introduce a potential training paradigm to fit the traditional GPF and SOF/IW framework of the services. [31]x 
8McKinley (2016). Internationalizing the curriculum: explicitly pugng in assessments or program requirements that relate to cultural agility [32]x 
9Jameson and Goshit (2017). program participants (domestic and international) to develop the intercultural skills, knowledge, and mindsets to communicate effectively across cultural boundaries. For the IPDF this typically includes cultural agility, open mindedness, respect, patience, empathy, leadership, an understanding of intercultural communication styles, willingness to step out of one’s comfort zone, as well as a basic understand- ing of the impact of power and privilege. [33]x 
10Martin and Zhang (2017). The main goal of the course is to further students’ understanding and knowledge of education and business leaders’ best practices and how they can apply these best practices to their current career, as well as their future career within the education arena. The course objectives are consistent for both the domestic and international trips and are as follows: – Researching emerging global paradigms, best practices, and structures in education and business. – Analyzing international   assessment measures -implement, understand drivers, improvement. – Building learning partnerships with global school and business leaders. – Increasing students’ global awareness, perspectives, and cultural agility. – Understanding the transferability of global educational and business systems. – Understanding the external environmental impact on education and business. [34]x 
11Pace, A. (2012). After detailing each of these competencies, Caligiuri shares how readers can attract, recruit, assess, select, train, and develop culturally agile employees. / As far as workplace learning and development, Caligiuri notes: “A learning system to develop cultural agility needs to include two parts, cross-cultural training and experiential development opportunities.” [1]xx



[1] Pace, A. (2012). Developing Global Savvy. T+D, 66(11), 74.

[2] Morrow, I. J. (2014). Edward T. Reilly (Ed.). AMA Business Boot Camp: Management and Leadership Fundamentals That Will See You Successfully Through Your Career. New York, NY: AMACOM, 2013, 236 pages, $25.00 hardcover. Personnel Psychology, 67(2), 523-526.

[3] Uma, S. N. (2013) Global HR Issues and Challenges for Managers.

[4] PriceWaterhouseCoopers’s 14th Annual Global CEO Survey (2011), “Growth reimagined: prospects in emerging markets drive CEO confidence”, PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

[5] Freedman, R. (2003). Creating Global Leaders │ Do your top managers have the cross-cultural agility to earn the trust of key constituencies abroad?. CHIEF EXECUTIVE -NEW YORK-, (189 ). 20.

[6] Caligiuri, P. (2012). Cultural agility. [electronic book] : building a pipeline of successful global professionals. San Francisco : Jossey-Bass, c2012.

[7] Caligiuri, P. (2013). Developing culturally agile global business leaders. Organizational Dynamics, 42(3), 175-182. doi:10.1016/j.orgdyn.2013.06.002

[8] Mukerjee, S. (2014). Agility: a crucial capability for universities in times of disruptive change and innovation. Australian Universities’ Review, The, 56(1), 56.

[9] Gibbs, J. L., & Boyraz, M. (2015). International HRM’s role in managing global teams. The Routledge companion to international human resource management, 532-551.

[10] Caligiuri, P., Noe, R., Nolan, R., Ryan, A. M., & Drasgow, F. (2011). Training, developing, and assessing cross-cultural competence in military personnel. Rutgers-The state univ Piscataway NJ.

[11] Brenneman, M. W., Klafehn, J., Burrus, J., Roberts, R. D., & Kochert, J. (2016). Assessing Cross-Cultural Competence: A Working Framework and Prototype Measures for Use in Military Contexts. In Critical Issues in Cross Cultural Management (pp. 103-131). Springer, Cham.

[12] Abbe, A., Gulick, L. M. V., & Herman, J. L. (2008). Cross-cultural competence in army leaders: A conceptual and empirical foundation (Study Report 2008–01). Arlington, VA: U.S. Army

[13] Drews, R., & Lamson, M. (2016). Determining the Organization’s Cultural Fit in the US. In Market Entry into the USA (pp. 55-67). Springer, Cham.

[14] Stirling, D. (2016). Assessing the Dialectic in the Academic Literature between Culturally-Dependent and Universal Leadership Attributes. Journal of Global Leadership, 79.

[15] Garvey, D. C. (2015). A causal layered analysis of movement, paralysis and liminality in the contested arena of indigenous mental health (Doctoral dissertation, Curtin University).

[16] Caligiuri, P. )., & Tarique, I. ). (2016). Cultural agility and international assignees’ effectiveness in cross-cultural interactions. International Journal Of Training And Development, 20(4), 280-289. doi:10.1111/ijtd.12085

[17] Wicinski, M. L. (2013). Intercultural sensitivity at the army medical department center and school as measured by the intercultural sensitivity scale. In International Pre-Conference (p. 235).

[18] Hounsell, D. (2016). What Can Students Learn in the Internationalised University?.

[19] Watson, C. A. (2014). A cultural confluence: Approaches to embedding cultural insights and inclusion throughout the marketing process. Pepperdine University.

[20] Draghici, A. (2015) The Importance of Cross-Cultural Competencies in the New Context of Human Resources Management. Human Resources Management Challenges: Learning & Development, 63.

[21] Pettigrew, M., & Roberts, H. (2006). Systematic reviews in the social sciences: A practical guide. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

[22] Dickmann, M., & Hughes, H. (2017). The Ingredients for Corporate Success?.

[23] Lundby, K., & Caligiuri, P. (2013). Leveraging Organizational Climate to Understand Cultural Agility and Foster Effective Global Leadership. People & Strategy, 36(3), 26-30.

[24] Dutton, G. (2016). Connecting the Dots for Success. Training, 53(6), 52-55.

[25] Slack, K., Noe, R., & Weaver, S. (2011). Staying Alive! Training High-Risk Teams for Self Correction.

[26] Caligiuri, P., Baytalskaya, N., & Lazarova, M. B. (2016). Cultural humility and low ethnocentrism as facilitators of expatriate performance. Journal of Global Mobility, 4(1), 4-17.

[27] Crawford, M. H., & Campbell, B. C. (Eds.). (2012). Causes and consequences of human migration: An evolutionary perspective. Cambridge University Press.

[28] Dinwoodie, D. L., Quinn, L., & McGuire, J. B. (2014). Bridging the strategy/performance gap how leadership strategy drives business results. White paper Center for Creative Leadership.

[29] Vega, J. (2012). Developing Cultural Agility between Emergency Medical Providers and Vietnamese-Americans in Santa Clara County (Doctoral dissertation, San José State University).

[30] Honnor, B. (2013). Aligning L&D to global business (learning and development). Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, 27(3).

[31] Synoground Jr, D. E. (2013). Cross-Cultural Competency in the General Purpose Force: Training Strategies and Implications for Future Operations. Marine corps command and staff coll quantico va.

[32] McKinley, J. (2016). The integration of local and international students in EMI.

[33] Jameson, H. P., & Goshit, S. (2017). Building Campus Communities Inclusive of International Students: A Framework for Program Development. New Directions for Student Services, 2017(158), 73-85.

[34] Martin, K. B., & Zhang, G. (2017). Developing, Teaching, and Assessing Travel Courses to Prospective K-12 Educational Leaders: Domestic versus International Seminars. International Business Research and Practice (JIRBP) Volume 11-2017, 26.

Developing Human Capital: Success and Failure in Learning


Psychologists in the past have conceptualized talent as an IQ-like cognitive ability [1], and practice focused on the view of human achievements to be limited by innate characteristics [2]. Human cognitive processing is indeed universally depending on sensory abilities, often biased and unaware of its own mechanisms, and limited to a relatively bounded range of working memory capacity [3]. However, these innate factors are not directly encoding skills, but the development of human expertise rather relies on whether or not and how experience and training are happening [4].

Deliberate practice

Ericsson, Prietula, and Cokely (2007) [5] describe “deliberate practice” [6], which is the direction of efforts towards learning something that can’t be done well yet as compared to an already familiar task. Deliberate thinking develops the concentration and accepting consideration of even painful feedback (people tend to over-estimate their skills and performance) to practice new things that are, therefore, more challenging to approach [5]. Learning outside of one’s comfort zone has been found favorable for reaping the benefits from brain plasticity allowing for ongoing cognitive health even in older age [7].

Cognitive skills

The development of cognitive abilities needs practice because it is, for example, relying on stored contextual information for improved anticipation and decision-making [8]. The so-called psychological support skills are more domain-general, can respectively have to be learned too though, improve motivation, attention, and anxiety, and comprise of mental abilities such as imagery, self-talk, relaxation skills, goals setting, and organizing [9]. Also, spatial abilities have been found supportive of developing expertise in science, technology, and engineering education [10].

Self-efficacy and motivation

Performance achievement requires self-confidence in one’s ability to learn. For any learning, it is vital to develop this life-skill of self-efficacy [11]. Self-efficacy helps develop a stronger sense of hope and purpose of life [12]. The attribution of failure to controllable factors (such as one’s development of abilities) causes individuals to think more positively, being more motivated and perseverant, and perform more successfully [13]. While available to all, proactive personalities might access self-efficacy more easily though [14]. The so-called Deep Layer Learning Motivation (i.e., the interest in internal motivation, as opposed to external motivators) is positively related to learning performance and self-efficacy [15]. All this taken together, the possibility of creating an upward spiral for developing human capital exists through the mutually reinforcing effects of positive self-belief, intrinsic motivation, and successful learning achievement.

Creating a supportive environment

How a student, including the gifted [16], perceives the supportiveness of his/her learning environment, e.g., colleagues, family, and teachers, influences the motivation for self-directed engagement [17]. This demonstrates the importance of a practice-friendly design of learning environments [18]. The Triarchic Model of Grit has been evaluated a valid and reliable tool for measuring talent development self-efficacy and has recently added the dimension of ‘adaptability to situations’ to the already established dimensions of ‘perseverance of effort’ and ‘consistency of interests’ [19]. This could be especially useful to assess a conception of talent (respectively ability) that is seen as a more multi-dimensional function of person-environment interactions ensuring that educational policies and programs are consequently designed and promoted as opportunities for all [20].


[1] Shore, B. M. (2010). Giftedness Is Not What It Used to Be, School Is Not What It Used to Be, Their Future, and Why Psychologists in Education Should Care. Canadian Journal Of School Psychology, 25(2), 151. doi:10.1177/0829573509356896

[2] Helding, L. (2011). Innate Talent: Myth or Reality?. Journal Of Singing, 67(4), 451.

[3] Mislevy, R. J. (2010). Some implications of expertise research for educational assessment. Research Papers In Education, 25(3), 253-270. doi:10.1080/02671522.2010.498142

[4] Kaufman, S. B., & Duckworth, A. L. (2017). World‐class expertise: A developmental model. Wires Cognitive Science, 8(1-2), 1-7.

[5] Ericsson, K. A., Prietula, M. J., & Cokely, E. T. (2007). The Making of an Expert. (cover story). Harvard Business Review, 85(7/8), 114.

[6] Howard, R. W. (2007). Learning curves in highly skilled chess players: A test of the generality of the power law of practice. Acta Psychologica, 15116-23.

[7] Train your brain: Practicing a new and challenging activity is a good bet for building and maintaining cognitive skills. (2018). Harvard Men’s Health Watch, 22(8), 3.

[8] Williams, A. M., Ford, P. R., Eccles, D. W., & Ward, P. (2011). Perceptual-cognitive expertise in sport and its acquisition: Implications for applied cognitive psychology. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 25(3), 432-442. doi:10.1002/acp.1710

[9] Eccles, D. W., & Feltovich, P. J. (2008). Implications of domain-general “psychological support skills” for transfer of skill and acquisition of expertise. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 21(1), 43-60. doi:10.1002/piq.20014

[10] Kell, H. J., & Lubinski, D. (2013). Spatial ability: A neglected talent in educational and occupational settings. Roeper Review: A Journal On Gifted Education, 35(4), 219-230. doi:10.1080/02783193.2013.829896

[11] Mehmet Emin, T., Eyüp, Ç., & Murat, İ. (2015). Career and Talent Development Self-Efficacy Scale: Adaptation and Validation in the Turkish Population. International Journal Of Psychology And Educational Studies , Vol 2, Iss 1, Pp 1-8 (2015), (1), 1. doi:10.17220/ijpes.2015.01.001

[12] Lane, F. C., & Schutts, J. W. (2014). Predicting the Presence of Purpose through the Self-Efficacy Beliefs of One’s Talents. Journal Of College And Character, 15(1), 15-24.

[13] Rascle, O., Le Foll, D., Charrier, M., Higgins, N. C., Rees, T., & Coffee, P. (2015). Durability and generalization of attribution-based feedback following failure: Effects on expectations and behavioral persistence. Psychology Of Sport & Exercise, 1868-74. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2015.01.003

[14] Kim, H. S., & Park, I. (2017). Influence of Proactive Personality on Career Self-Efficacy. Journal Of Employment Counseling, 54(4), 168-182. doi:10.1002/joec.12065

[15] Xiaolu, Z., & Ling, T. (2017). Study on learning motivation for innovative talents of local normal universities. Journal Of Interdisciplinary Mathematics, 20(6/7), 1401-1405. doi:10.1080/09720502.2017.1382145

[16] Mullet, D. R., Kettler, T., & Sabatini, A. (2018). Gifted Students’ Conceptions of Their High School STEM Education. Journal For The Education Of The Gifted, 41(1), 60-92.

[17] Siegle, D., McCoach, D. B., & Roberts, A. (2017). Why I Believe I Achieve Determines Whether I Achieve. High Ability Studies, 28(1), 59-72.

[18] Sloboda, J. A. (2000). Individual differences in music performance. Trends In Cognitive Sciences, 4(10), 397-403. doi:10.1016/S1364-6613(00)01531-X

[19] Datu, J. D., Yuen, M., & Chen, G. (2017). Development and validation of the Triarchic Model of Grit Scale (TMGS): Evidence from Filipino undergraduate students. Personality And Individual Differences, 114198-205.

[20] Barab, S. A., & Plucker, J. A. (2002). Smart people or smart contexts? Cognition, ability, and talent development in an age of situated approaches to knowing and learning. Educational Psychologist, 37(3), 165-182. doi:10.1207/S15326985EP3703_3

Cognitive Competence Compensates for Age-related Working Memory Deficits

mathias-sager-adult learning memory brain hippocampus

Summary. The transverse patterning (TP) task is a cognitive problem resembling the childhood game of “rock-paper-scissors” requiring decision-making in the process of learning associations between paired stimuli. The TP problem served the assessment of configural learning deficits due to hippocampal damages in animals. In experiments with humans, training has proven to increase test subjects’ TP task performance. This supports the interpretation that even older adults may be able to learn to adapt their cognitive strategies to compensate for age-related working memory deterioration. Furthermore, older adults may disproportionately benefit from visual versions of TP task, which involve semantic knowledge. This was found to support older individuals in the application of cognitive strategies that are activating less age-sensitive working memory and brain areas.

You an try the TP learning memory experiment yourself at opl.apa.org.

Continue reading Cognitive Competence Compensates for Age-related Working Memory Deficits

Metacognitive Strategies for Learning (LD) vs. Intellectual Disabilities (ID)


Summary. This article describes some metacognitive strategies to learner profiles and then evaluates those strategies for individuals of different ages with intellectual and learning disabilities. In order to do so, different variables that effect those with intellectual and learning disabilities are identified. Social and cultural implications, as well as life span stages and interpersonal communication are discussed.

Continue reading Metacognitive Strategies for Learning (LD) vs. Intellectual Disabilities (ID)

Learned Helplessness (LH) and the Need to Promote Hope


Learned helplessness and some psychological disorders

Dogs who experienced repeatedly unavoidable electro shocks learned that they have no control over escaping from such painful events [1], and henceforth developed a cognitive deficit in the form of generalizing the helplessness expectation to other situations [2]. This phenomenon is also considered reduced incentive motivation [3]. Mental patterns of learned helplessness (LH) resemble those of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which associate with depression [4]. LH is mentioned as the animal correspondent of depression [5]. Indeed, LH was found to be a primary cause of both PTSD and major depressive disorder (MDD) [6]. Depression includes the symptoms of feeling helplessness, but it is not its (sole) source. Non-depressed people can learn helplessness as well. Interestingly, ‘normal’ people may over-optimistically assess their level of control and therefore less likely notice uncontrollability as more realistically reasoning individuals with depressive tendencies do [7].


For what could appear as inappropriate passivity in refugees who are not seeking help and not filing timely registration from the new government, for example, can be explained by LH theory. Survivors of traumatic persecution have learned that they cannot expect help from their violent or passive government, an uncontrollable fact that caused the learning of helplessness that now is applied to the new country’s government as well [6]. LH is characterized by attributions that are more personalized, constant, and of global nature and is directly associated with more severe PTSD and MDD symptoms. The relative importance of a situation to a person’s identity is further mediating this relationship [8]. This way, LH explains why a persecuted refugee may not display the knowledge of pro-actively managing the required legal administration even in a new context that would, in contrast to the former learned one, offering help to do so [6].

Related theories and hope

Towards the end of the last century, the finding that hopelessness can lead to depression caused researchers like Seligman to re-focus from helplessness to hopelessness and finally to a hope-promoting view that was intended to prevent helplessness and related pathologies of hopelessness depression [2]. For individuals who assume a performance-oriented motivation, prompts of hope and self-esteem are important to let them believe in their ability and become actively engaged, e.g., in learning and other challenging tasks. In contrast, according to goal achievement theory, subjects with a mastery-(learning-)orientation behave actively regardless of their degree of self-confidence. [9]. Models of regulation posit that learners self-regulate (i.e., manage, monitor, and motivate) their resources either towards process or achievement goals [10]. However pronounced and efficient these strategies may be though; the effects of hope finally beat any deficits in self-regulation [9].

Social-cognitive approach

A more positive outlook on relationships reduced the detrimental correlation between PTSD and dysfunctional goal orientation such as performance-avoidance. While mastery development is achieved through social comparison, performance-avoiding students see peer comparison as a threat. Therefore, motivation to get help and to learn can be increased by the adoption of a social-cognitive framework that is supportive of a positive relational outlook fostering help-seeking experiences [11].

Photo credit: Pexels (pixabay.com)

[1] Seligman, M. E., & Weiss, J. M. (1980). Coping behavior: Learned helplessness, physiological change and learned inactivity. Behaviour Research And Therapy, 18(5), 459-512. doi:10.1016/0005-7967(80)90011-X
[2] Nunn, K. P., & Thompson, S. L. (1996). The pervasive refusal syndrome: Learned helplessness and hopelessness. Clinical Child Psychology And Psychiatry, 1(1), 121-132. doi:10.1177/1359104596011011
[3] Maier, S. F., & Seligman, M. E. (1976). Learned helplessness: Theory and evidence. Journal Of Experimental Psychology: General, 105(1), 3-46. doi:10.1037/0096-3445.105.1.3
[4] Bargai, N. )., Shalev, A. )., & Ben-Shakhar, G. ). (2007). Posttraumatic stress disorder and depression in battered women: The mediating role of learned helplessness. Journal Of Family Violence, 22(5), 267-275. doi:10.1007/s10896-007-9078-y
[5] Greenwood, B. N., & Fleshner, M. (2008). Exercise, learned helplessness, and the stress-resistant brain. Neuromolecular Medicine, 10(2), 81-98. doi:10.1007/s12017-008-8029-y
[6] White, B. R. (2016). Using Learned Helplessness to Understand the Effects of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder on Refugees and Explain Why These Disorders Should Qualify as Extraordinary Circumstances Excusing Untimely Asylum Applications. Buffalo Law Review, 64(2), 413-463.
[7] Schwartz, B. (1981). Does helplessness cause depression, or do only depressed people become helpless? Comment on Alloy and Abramson. Journal Of Experimental Psychology: General, 110(3), 429-435. doi:10.1037/0096-3445.110.3.429
[8] Reiland, S. A. (2017). Event Centrality as Mediator Between Attributions and Mental Health Outcomes. Journal Of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 26(6), 574-589. doi:10.1080/10926771.2017.1308981
[9] Sideridis, G. )., & Kaplan, A. ). (2011). Achievement goals and persistence across tasks: The roles of failure and success. Journal Of Experimental Education, 79(4), 429-451. doi:10.1080/00220973.2010.539634
[10] Rezaee, R., & Mosalanejad, L. (2015). The effects of case-based team learning on students’ learning, self regulation and self direction. Global Journal Of Health Science, 7(4), 295-306. doi:10.5539/gjhs.v7n4p295
[11] Ness, B. M., Middleton, M. J., & Hildebrandt, M. J. (2015). Examining the Effects of Self-reported Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms and Positive Relations With Others on Self-regulated Learning for Student Service Members/Veterans. Journal Of American College Health, 63(7), 448-458.

Learning from differences and collaborating in diversity according to Lev Vygotsky


Content. (1) Individual embodiment of increasingly global social contexts, (2) Globally influenced mediation of learning, (3) Extension of the proximate to a collaborative zone of development, (4) Integrating differences for rich and demanding learning opportunities

Continue reading Learning from differences and collaborating in diversity according to Lev Vygotsky

Scaffolding Cooperative Learning

mathias-sager-cooperative learning.jpg

Human interactions don’t lack technical but rather cooperative communication skills. The good news is that pro-social behavior can be learned. Collective argumentation is one means to scaffold learners’ engagement in group work. Also, the negotiation of values is vital for achieving a shared sense of agency and accountability between teachers and students. In computer-enabled learning, consequential engagement in the form of enabling equitability and showing the benefits beyond single contributions, as well as using game formats are promising pathways to progress cooperation in learning environments.

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Egocentrism: Who can take whose empathic perspective?


Egocentrism occurs as part of preschoolers’ development in the so-called pre-operational stage and means the inability of a child to differentiate between its own and other people’s thoughts [1]. In other words, children would not realize the suffering of others as such at all [2]. This poses a quite depressive outlook and may not correspond to own experience and observations. Aren’t there more empathy-promising possibilities than such a radical and moral-disabling egocentrism? Is there potential for interventions? And what does animal research tell us?

Continue reading Egocentrism: Who can take whose empathic perspective?

How poorly do we understand animal-human (dis-)similarity?


The question of animal-human similarity is essential to decide whether animals should be treated alike [1] and whether animals possess rights [2]. What characteristic determines a human being as distinct from animals? What about people with genetic anomalies or other disabilities on the one hand side, and, for example, especially well trained chimpanzees on the other [3]?

Proponents of animals’ legal status as private property that can be exploited by humans always find new approaches to legitimate the dissimilarity argument like, for example, further experiments designed to identify differences in the perception of pain, which is stimulating additional painful animal research [1]. Evidence from experimental neurological studies of emotional activities shows that intense brain arousal happens in evolutionary shared neural areas that are still common in all mammals. Emotional states matter to animals. It can be easily observed how animals seek rewards and avoid punishments. Such positive and negative learning experiences indicate the existence of psychological and sensitive behavior in all human and non-human mammals [4].

Especially when fearing punishment, nonhuman and human animals tend to copy the behavior of others [5]. Social learning is vital for the transmission of culture and learning between subjects of high similarity, the so-called assortative social learning, is preferred [6]. The study of conformity has gained popularity in animal research in recent years [7]. Imitation as a social learning mode of animals and humans was already described by Thorndike a couple of centuries ago. Imitative behavior with its high copying accuracy might be essential in cultivating traditions [8]. The limited richness in chimpanzee culture compared to human culture may lie in the higher reliance of children on social rewards while chimpanzees rely more on their own knowledge [9]. There is growing evidence for close analogies of human and chimpanzee social learning and culture [10].

Some argue that Konrad Lorenz’ study of adaptiveness, i.e., observing stimuli-response behavior in the context of the specific environment (and life experiences [12], has not been maintained sufficiently in animal research methodology [11]. However, whatever improved scientific methods will reveal, the scientific communities’ and citizens’ judgment regarding which psychological commonalities are of moral relevance and which not, remains an issue that needs careful consideration. We might still not know how inaccurate our understanding of animals’ minds is. Our historically poor understanding [2] should, in any case, attune us with a rather humble attitude.

Photo credit: tskirde (pixabay.com)


[1] Bryant, T. (2007). Similarity or Difference as a Basis for Justice: Must Animals be Like Humans to be Legally Protected from Humans [article]. Law And Contemporary Problems, (1), 207.

[2] Mameli, M., & Bortoletti, L. (2006). Animal Rights, Animal Minds, and Human Mindreading. Journal Of Medical Ethics, (2), 84. doi:10.1136/jme.2005.013086

[3] Gilsason, B. J., & Meyer, M. (2012). Humans and great apes: A search for truth and ethical principles. Journal Of Animal Law, 81-25.

[4] Panksepp, J. (2011). Cross-Species Affective Neuroscience Decoding of the Primal Affective Experiences of Humans and Related Animals. Plos ONE, 6(9), 1-15. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021236

[5] Lindström, B., & Olsson, A. (2015). Mechanisms of Social Avoidance Learning Can Explain the Emergence of Adaptive and Arbitrary Behavioral Traditions in Humans. Journal Of Experimental Psychology. General, 144(3), 688-703. doi:10.1037/xge0000071

[6] Katsnelson, E., Lotem, A., & Feldman, M. W. (2014).  Assortative social learning and its implications for human (and animal?) societiesEvolution, 68(7), 1894-1906. doi:10.1111/evo.12403

[7] Claidiere, N., & Whiten, A. (2012). Integrating the Study of Conformity and Culture in Humans and Nonhuman Animals. Psychological Bulletin, 138(1), 126-145.

[8] Mesoudi, A., Schillinger, K., Lycett, S. J., & Mesoudi, A. (2015). The impact of imitative versus emulative learning mechanisms on artifactual variation: implications for the evolution of material culture. Evolution And Human Behavior, 36(6), 446-455.

[9] Van Leeuwen, E. C., Call, J., & Haun, D. M. (2014). Human children rely more on social information than chimpanzees do. Biology Letters, 10(11), 20140487. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2014.0487

[10] Whiten, A. (2017). Social Learning and Culture in Child and Chimpanzee. Annual Review Of Psychology, 68129-154. doi:10.1146/annurev-psych-010416-044108

[11] Saraiva, R. S. (2006). Classic ethology reappraised. Behavior & Philosophy, 3489-107.

[12] Vanderveldt, A., Oliveira, L., & Green, L. (2016). Delay discounting: Pigeon, rat, human—does it matter?. Journal Of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning And Cognition, 42(2), 141-162. doi:10.1037/xan0000097

History and Philosophy of Learning Theory


Introspection as the scientific method had to give place to behavioral psychology in the nineteenth century [1], which opposed mentalist approaches to the study of associative mechanisms in learned behavior [2] with rigorous observable laboratory experiments and animal behavior training as performed by B.F. Skinner [3] (Figure 1.). Associationists like E. Thorndike believed in biological processes which construe memory in the form of neuronal connections in the brain [1]. Reinforcement, for example in the form of dopamine rewards, was considered necessary feedback for learning enablement [4]. Today there is substantial evidence that learning can happen without this kind of reinforcement though [5]. The classical conditioning (Figure 2.) through basic physical stimulation proven too simplistic, Ivan Pavlov introduced a second system allowing for linguistic inputs too [2]. L.S. Vygotsky considered language as a requirement for the human ability to analyze the world by cognitively separating real-world objects from related conceptualizations [6]. Signs and symbols allow a shared subjectivity, e.g., between teacher and student [7]. Verbal animal behavior is studied to find roots for the development of human language sophistication [8].

Skinner.pngFigure 1. Skinner’s Operant Conditioning Quadrant

Pavlov.pngFigure 2. Pavlov’s classical conditioning

Cognitive Approach to Learning

Noam Chomsky criticized that animal verbal behavior might follow different principles that wouldn’t allow generalization attempts to human behavior [3]. The lack of real-life conditions in the laboratory environments and the difficulty to repeat animal experiments in wild life [8], ethical constraints in animal research limiting invasive practices [21], utterly operant-mathematical approaches, and an over-emphasis on language opened the way towards cognitive approaches beyond the study of language [2]. The negligence of instinct’s role, as proven by Konrad Lorenz to be relevant for imprinting mechanisms in learning (Figure 3.), also brought behaviorism into critique [9]. Vygotsky’s developmental method of research of the human species was re-discovered [10]. Around the same time, after the mid of the twentieth century, Jean Piaget’s schema theory (Figure 4.) introduced the concepts of assimilation, accommodation, and equilibration as the developmental cognitive principles of his influential genetics based philosophy [11].

Konrad Lorenz.pngFigure 3. Konrad Lorenz’ Imprinting

Piaget schema.png

Figure 4. Piaget’s Schema stages

After 1980, intelligence, especially Howard E. Gardner’s multiple intelligences (Figure 5.) (but also, Robert J. Sternberg’s triarchic theory of intelligence [12], as well as his personality characteristics related to thinking styles [13]), were taken into account in education programs [12]. Autonomous learning raised from Albert Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory (Figure 6.) noticing that human behavior is about willful and context-dependent mental processes [14]. Innate needs for competence, as described by Skinner [16], and Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory further contributed to the motivational aspect of learning [15].

Gardner multiple intelligences

Figure 5. Gardner’s multiple intelligences

Bandura social cognitive theory.pngFigure 6. Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory


Piaget and Vygotsky both construct human development holistically from transactional, relational, and situational thinking perspectives [17]. Such a constructivism also implies that education is about active learning rather than teaching [18], putting the focus on human growth experience instead of economic principles [19]. Vygotsky with his socio-cultural approach to psychological development (Figure 7.) is, in my opinion, best reflecting Plato’s principle of “the meaning of the world is embedded in the experience of the world” (p. 399) reminding us that the theory of learning remains a dynamic and context-sensitive science going forward [20].

Vygotsky socio-cultural developmentFigure 7. Vygotsky’s Socio-cultural approach



[1] Malone, J. C. (2014). Did John B. Watson really ‘found’ behaviorism?. The Behavior Analyst, 37(1), 1-12. doi:10.1007/s40614-014-0004-3

[2] Jerome, B. (2004). A Short History of Psychological Theories of Learning. Daedalus, (1), 13.

[3] Palmer, D. ). (2006). On Chomsky’s appraisal of Skinner’s Verbal Behavior: A half century of misunderstanding. Behavior Analyst, 29(2), 253-267.

[4] Jeff A, B. (2012). Thorndike’s Law 2.0: Dopamine and the regulation of thrift. Frontiers In Neuroscience, Vol 6 (2012), doi:10.3389/fnins.2012.00116/full

[5] Artino, A. J. (2007). Bandura, Ross, and Ross: Observational Learning and the Bobo Doll.

[6] Chuprikova, N. (2016). Unknown Vygotsky: Cultural-Historical Theory in the Context of Pavlov’s Theory of Higher Nervous Activity and H. Werner’s Differential Development Theory. Kulʹturno-Istoričeskaâ Psihologiâ, Vol 12, Iss 3, Pp 232-246 (2016), (3), 232. doi:10.17759/chp.2016120313

[7] Pardjono, P. (2016). Active Learning: The Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky, and Constructivist Theory Perspectives. Jurnal Ilmu Pendidikan, Vol 9, Iss 3 (2016), (3), doi:10.17977/jip.v9i3.487

[8] Reznikova, Z. (2007). Dialog with black box: using Information Theory to study animal language behaviour. Acta Ethologica10 (1), 1–12.

[9] Átima Clemente Alves, Z. (2007). Instinto, etologia e a teoria de Konrad Lorenz / Instinct, etology and the Konrad Lorenz theory. Ciência & Educação (Bauru), (3), 337. doi:10.1590/S1516-73132007000300005

[10] Salonen, L. (2013). L. S. Vygotsky’s psychology and theory of learning applied to the rehabilitation of aphasia: A developmental and systemic view. Aphasiology, 27(5), 615-635. doi:10.1080/02687038.2013.780284

[11] Zhang, Z. (2015). Assimilation, Accommodation, and Equilibration: A Schema-Based Perspective on Translation as Process and as Product. International Forum Of Teaching & Studies, 11(1/2), 84-89.

[12] Ekinci, B. (2014). The relationships among Sternberg’s Triarchic Abilities, Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, and academic achievement. Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 42(4), 625-633.

[13] Nahla, A. (2017). Differences in styles of thinking ‘In Light of Sternberg’s Theory’: A case study of different educational levels in Saudi Arabia. Journal Of Technology And Science Education, Vol 7, Iss 3, Pp 333-346 (2017), (3), 333. doi:10.3926/jotse.291

[14] Ponton, M. K., & Rhea, N. E. (2006). Autonomous Learning from a Social Cognitive Perspective. New Horizons In Adult Education & Human Resource Development, 20(2), 38-49.

[15] Joko, S., & Sri Wiwoho, M. (2017). Motivation Engineering to Employee by Employees Abraham Maslow Theory. Journal Of Education, Teaching And Learning, Vol 2, Iss 1, Pp 86-92 (2017), (1), 86.

[16] Fryer, L. K. (2017). Building Bridges: Seeking Structure and Direction for Higher Education Motivated Learning Strategy Models. Educational Psychology Review, 29(2), 325-344.

[17] Vianna, E., & Stetsenko, A. (2006). Embracing History through Transforming It: Constrasting Piagetian versus Vygotskian (Activity) Theories of Learning and Development to Expand Contructivs within a Dialectical View of History. Theory & Psychology, 16(1), 81-108. doi:10.1177/095934306060108

[18] Cattaneo, K. H. (2017). Telling Active Learning Pedagogies Apart: From Theory to Practice. Journal Of New Approaches In Educational Research, 6(2), 144-152.

[19] Illeris, K. (2015). The Development of a Comprehensive and Coherent Theory of Learning. European Journal Of Education, 50(1), 29-40.

[20] Spector, J. (2001). Philosophical implications for the design of instruction. Instructional Science29 (4/5), 381–402.

[21] Rollin, B. (2006). The regulation of animal research and the emergence of animal ethics: A conceptual history. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, 27 (4), 285–304.

Culture Blindness and Academic Capitalism


Summary. The advancement of a genuinely global science beyond Euro-American mainstream, the reduction of international research inequalities, and the mitigation of adverse effects of academic capitalism are important to make progress in understanding and helping humanity worldwide. 

Continue reading Culture Blindness and Academic Capitalism

Approaches to Lifespan Development and Cultural Considerations


Developmental Psychology and Lifespan Development

Developmental psychology comprises the research of children’s cognitive, societal, and emotive development, and is especially interested in studying how children learn [1]. During the last decades, lifespan developmental psychology became an “independent, interdisciplinary specialization of life sciences” [2, p. 25] that is embracing the developmental stages over a whole lifespan [3]. Lifespan development research seeks insight into the determinants of individuals’ well-being, e.g., ‘successful aging,’ while drawing on traditional developmental psychology’s components of health, cognition, and relationships [4].

The Role of Culture

The impressive achievements in human collective creation may be seen as essentially the result of social rather than mental capacities [5]. Despite the plethora of cultural psychology research, there remains critique whether culture and context can play the central role in exploring what is influencing social behavior [6]. As a counter-argument some researchers propose the womanist model to overcome the definition of the self as a mere function of culture and societal norms [7].

Social abilities of children at different development stages have been reported to be comparable [5]. Extending developmental research to life-span theories entailing adulthood and old age, as already proposed by Erikson’s identity development model from 1959 [7], causes a shift towards increased importance of culture. Developmental neurobiological processes that are more influential in early life stages give way to increased effects from culture and social learning at later life stages [2]. Regarding child development there are increasingly calls for inclusion of, for example, native cultures in research [8].

Towards Holistic Lifespan Development Psychology Approaches

Jean Piaget’s (1896 – 1994) view that meaning results from physical interaction with the environment could not hinder psychology’s tendential development of an inconsideration of brain and body in mental processes. However, the modern enactivist approach is (again) conceptualizing a close link between organism and environment [9]. Today a more holistic perspective follows earlier research that has focused either internal or exogenic elements in identity development [10]. Contemporary research emphasizes the need to better understand the complex human environment [11], to examine individual (e.g., gender-specific, but controlled for culture) within-person developmental processes in longitudinal studies [4], and to capture the more granular day-to-day events’ influence on crucial lifespan factors [12].

Interdisciplinary Globalization of Lifespan Development Research

Economically developed regions, sometimes referred to as Western countries, make up only 20 percent of the world population while developing economies’ population is even disproportionately continuing to grow. At the same time, economic development in the Non-Western, often collectivist societies are likely to influence the development of related cultures dramatically. Therefore, to understand human developmental, psychology needs to focus more on where the big changes and populations are [13].

To further integrate all relevant aspects of human development, a closer collaboration between the life course sociology and life span psychology seems to be a promising aspiration [14]. Like the emergence of culture and art marked a new era of Homo sapiens some ten thousand years ago [13], maybe breakthroughs in understanding human lifespan development related to culture may define next evolutionary steps of humanity.



[1] Thomas, J. E. (2015). Developmental Psychology. Research Starters: Education (Online Edition),

[2] Švancara, J. (2012). The emergence of life span developmental psychology – approaches, theories, models, methods, implementation. E-Psychologie, 6(1), 24-41.

[3] Tuladhar, C. T., & Commons, M. L. (2014). Correspondence between some life-span, stage theory developmental sequences of stages and levels. Behavioral Development Bulletin, 19(3), 24-27. doi:10.1037/h0100586

[4] Morack, J., Ram, N., Fauth, E. B., & Gerstorf, D. (2013). Multidomain trajectories of psychological functioning in old age: A longitudinal perspective on (uneven) successful aging. Developmental Psychology, 49(12), 2309-2324. doi:10.1037/a0032267

[5] Nielsen, M., & Haun, D. (2016). Why developmental psychology is incomplete without comparative and cross-cultural perspectives. Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society Of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 371(1686), 20150071. doi:10.1098/rstb.2015.0071

[6] Dedios Sanguineti, M. C. (2015). Interwoven explorations: Culture and mind (in context): Introduction to the special issue. Psychology & Society, 7(1), 1-11.

[7] Walters, K. A., & Auton-Cuff, F. P. (2009). A story to tell: the identity development of women growing up as third culture kids. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 12(7), 755-772. doi:10.1080/13674670903029153

[8] Fitzgerald, H., & Farrell, P. (2012). Fulfilling the Promise: Creating a Child Development Research Agenda With Native Communities. Child Development Perspectives, 6(1), 75-78.

[9] Marshall, P. J. (2016). Embodiment and Human Development. Child Development Perspectives, 10(4), 245. doi:10.1111/cdep.12190

[10] Robinson, O. C., & Smith, J. A. (2010). Investigating the Form and Dynamics of Crisis Episodes in Early Adulthood: The Application of a Composite Qualitative Method. Qualitative Research In Psychology, 7(2), 170-191. doi:10.1080/14780880802699084

[11] Allik, J., Massoudi, K., Realo, A., & Rossier, J. (2012). Personality and culture: Cross-cultural psychology at the next crossroads. Swiss Journal Of Psychology, 71(1), 5-12. doi:10.1024/1421-0185/a000069

[12] Hofer, S. M., & Piccinin, A. M. (2010). Toward an integrative science of life-span development and aging. The Journals Of Gerontology: Series B: Psychological Sciences And Social Sciences, 65(3), 269-278. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbq017

[13] Arnett, J. J. (2012). Human development: A cultural approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

[14] Gilleard, C., & Higgs, P. (2016). Connecting Life Span Development with the Sociology of the Life Course: A New Direction. Sociology, 50(2), 301-315. doi:10.1177/0038038515577906

Online/Internet Emotional Intelligence (EI)



Summary. Online learning and team work are ever increasing. This poses new challenges on how to predict successful learning, teaching, and performance in general while being wary about problematic Internet/online usage too. Emotions may be seen as less relevant in an online environment, but studies show that Emotional Intelligence (EI) of online instructors and leaders of virtual teams does predict online success. As online participant want to bring in their personality, especially in the case of attachment to a program or project, empathic behavior plays a major role in the online world. “Mind reading” is happening in face-to-face interactions; interestingly, this is possible with others’ texts too, even in the absence of any other visual cues. EI can be developed online, especially when combined with mindfulness instructions, and the Internet Emotional Intelligence Scale (IEIS) provides a potent tool for evaluation.

Continue reading Online/Internet Emotional Intelligence (EI)

Collective Emotional Intelligence (CEI): Not Just the Sum of Individual EI


Summary. Collaborative learning and teamwork play a significant role in learning and work performance. Collective Emotional Intelligence (CEI) has positive effects on learning and performance dynamics in learning and collaborating teams, which reinforces EI as a contributing factor to successful organizational behavior. Therefore, the potential of CEI should be harnessed by further integrating it into work-relevant learning curriculums.

Team Learning for Team Performance

Despite or because of the controversy related to how Emotional Intelligence (EI) is positively influencing performance, potential beneficiaries such as Learning & Development and HR functions need to be considerate about what measures they take [1]. Organizational requirements shifted increasingly towards increased requirements for team work [2]. Similarly, in educational settings, collaborative learning is considered playing a decisive role in learning performance [3]. EI is a concept that is associating affect, cognition, and socialization [4]. It is possible to develop, e.g., through cooperative learning as several studies found [5] [6]. Team based learning becomes most effective if sufficient female participation in teams is created, which brings in the female tendency for increased emotional awareness and male’s heightened appetite to proactively guide the team [7]. Researchers suggests that emotional intelligence can culturally differ, following the logic that the social environment, as it is the topic of social cognitive theories, determines how for what emotions awareness and regulations are created [8].

Collective Emotional Intelligence (CEI) as a Team Ability

Studies confirm the correlation between the gender ratio and collective intelligence [9]. They define Collective Emotional Intelligence (CEI) as a group’s ability to create a collectively normed management and expression of emotions and emphasize its importance for teamwork quality [9]. It becomes evident that there is an interrelationship between the positive effect that EI can have on aspects of dynamics in learning teams [2], which reinforces EI as a contributing factor to successful organizational behavior [10]. Individual EI without integration into the group context is not a guarantee for teamwork as emotionally intelligent individuals may situationally choose competition over cooperation, depending on their strategic benefit assessment [11].

Reported decreases in empathy over time in medical school were successfully addressed by implementing further team based learning [4]. And another example represents the reported need for and success of EI as an integral part of work-relevant learning curriculums [12]. It will be interesting how evidenced-based research and organizational needs will stimulate each other. 


[1] Leimbach, M. P., & Maringka, J. (2010). Invited Reaction: Developing Emotional Intelligence (EI) Abilities through Team-Based Learning. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 21(2), 139-145.

[2] Clarke, N. (2010). Emotional Intelligence and Learning in Teams. Journal Of Workplace Learning, 22(3), 125-145.

[3] Moore, A., & Mamiseishvili, K. (2012). Examining the Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Group Cohesion. Journal Of Education For Business, 87(5), 296-302.

[4] Borges, N. J., Kirkham, K., Deardorff, A. S., & Moore, J. A. (2012). Development of emotional intelligence in a team-based learning internal medicine clerkship. Medical Teacher, 34(10), 802-806. doi:10.3109/0142159X.2012.687121

[5] Goreyshi, M. K., kargar, F. R., Noohi, S., & Ajilchi, B. (2013). Effect of Combined Mastery-Cooperative Learning on Emotional Intelligence, Self-esteem and Academic Achievement in Grade Skipping. Procedia – Social And Behavioral Sciences, 84(The 3rd World Conference on Psychology, Counseling and Guidance, WCPCG-2012), 470-474. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.06.586

[6] Marta, E., Diego, M., & Miguel A, M. (2016). El Aprendizaje Cooperativo y las Habilidades Socio-Emocionales: Una Experiencia Docente en la Asignatura Técnicas de Ventas / Cooperative Learning and Socio-Emotional Skills: A Teaching Experience in Sales Techniques Course. Formación Universitaria, (6), 43.

[7] Dunaway, M. M. (2013). IS Learning: The Impact of Gender and Team Emotional Intelligence. Journal Of Information Systems Education, 24(3), 189-202.

[8] Sung, H. Y. (2015). Emotional Intelligence and Sociocognitive Skills in Collaborative Teaching and Learning. New Directions For Teaching And Learning, (143), 61-77.

[9] Curşeu, P. L., Pluut, H., Boroş, S., & Meslec, N. (2015). The magic of collective emotional intelligence in learning groups: No guys needed for the spell!. British Journal Of Psychology (London, England: 1953), 106(2), 217-234. doi:10.1111/bjop.12075

[10] Tofighi, M., Tirgari, B., Fooladvandi, M., Rasouli, F., & Jalali, M. (2015). Relationship between emotional intelligence and organizational citizenship behavior in critical and emergency nurses in south east of Iran. Ethiopian Journal Of Health Sciences, 25(1), 79-88.

[11] Fernández-Berrocal, P. )., Extremera, N. )., Ruiz-Aranda, D. )., & Lopes, P. ). (2014). When to cooperate and when to compete: Emotional intelligence in interpersonal decision-making. Journal Of Research In Personality, 49(1), 21-24. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2013.12.005

[12] Singh, P., & Dali, C. M. (2013). Need for Emotional Intelligence to Develop Principals’ Social Skills. Africa Education Review, 10(3), 502-519.