Cultural Differences in Learning Dispositions

  • Dirk T. Tempelaar
  • Bart Rienties
  • Bas Giesbers
  • Sybrand Schim van der Loeff
Part of the Advances in Business Education and Training book series (ABET, volume 5)


Cultural differences in learning-related dispositions are investigated amongst 7,300 first year students from 81 different nationalities, using the framework of Hofstede (Culture’s consequences: international differences in work-related values. Sage, Beverly Hills, 1980). Comparing levels and intercorrelations of implicit theories of intelligence, effort beliefs, academic motivation, achievement goals, learning styles and approaches, and subject attitudes learns that traditional dichotomies often postulated in learning theories, such as those of surface versus deep learning, intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation, self-regulation of learning versus external regulation, and mastery goals versus performance goals, do not manifest in different cultural clusters. In contrast, cluster profiles tend to be rather balanced. Cultural differences in intercorrelations are substantial and again indicate the difficulty of constructing culture-invariant learning theories. One of these differences regards the differentiation of several facets in performance goals and in different aspects of memorisation-based learning processes. Compared to students from other cultures, students of the Confucian culture appear to possess relative undifferentiated conceptions of performance goals and memorisation-based learning processes, what is at odds with contemporary theories of the Chinese learner.


Intrinsic Motivation Achievement Goal Deep Learning Performance Goal Power Distance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dirk T. Tempelaar
    • 1
  • Bart Rienties
    • 2
  • Bas Giesbers
    • 1
  • Sybrand Schim van der Loeff
    • 1
  1. 1.Maastricht University School of Business and EconomicsMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Centre for Educational and Academic Development (CEAD)University of SurreyGuildford SurreyUK

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