Brandeis-Hong-Kong Aging Research Exchange
The Brandeis-Hong Kong Aging Research Exchange will support the training of students to conduct cross-cultural research on psychological processes related to successful aging. Students from labs at Brandeis and the Chinese University of Hong Kong will first be trained in their home lab and then will spend time conducting cross-cultural research on related processes at the other lab.
The exchange project had a successful summer and fall period. In August, Prof. Helene Fung and graduate student Xin Zhang of the Chinese University of Hong Kong visited Brandeis for a series of meetings, training, and presentations. In September, Prof. Derek Isaacowitz and graduate student Eric Allard traveled to Hong Kong. There, they discussed collaborative projects, met with students, and worked on studies and manuscripts.
The project team has created a brief guide to doing cross-cultural/lab collaboration, listed below.
Prof. Derek Isaacowitz, Psychology
Prof. Helene Fung, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Brief Guidelines Regarding Cross-Cultural/Lab Collaboration
• Be mindful of the lack of formal education for a number of older adult participants in Hong Kong samples. Experimental instructions should minimize the amount of reading necessary, and instructions should be thoroughly explained, aurally, to all of our participants. Additionally, the amount of reading should be minimal when participants are making behavioral responses to experimental stimuli (i.e. instead of responding to verbal labels presented visually, participants can make oral responses).
• Utilize individual difference measures assessing views of the self in a cultural context; these can be useful in examining potential moderators in information processing styles/preferences across age and culture. For instance, some measures that have been utilized at CUHK that should be used at Brandeis are: a measure of self-construal (i.e. view of the self as interdependent versus independent); a dialectical thinking measure (i.e. being able to examine the positive and negative aspects of a given situation and whether individuals view information as holistic—interconnectedness and relatedness of information—or fragmented); and a cultural values measure (i.e. do individuals endorse communal values or agentic/autonomous values?).
• Implement cross-cultural experimental stimuli in studies within each lab. For instance, when using stimuli of posed emotional expressions, utilize stimuli depicting both American and East Asian (Chinese) targets.
• Continue ongoing consultations between the two labs regarding updates on eye tracking equipment, stimulus programs/packages, and other experimental software.