Cross-cultural Personality and Gender Equality

Fanny Cheung’s research underscores the importance of cultural context in assessing personality: much of her early work has involved translating, adapting, and refining one of the most widely used personality assessments, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), for the Chinese population. While the MMPI has been found to be generally valid across cultures, there has been a push in some Eastern Asian countries for indigenous assessments, which are designed to incorporate personality constructs that are more culturally relevant to the local people than some of those found in the imported western measures. This idea led Cheung to develop the Chinese Personality Assessment Inventory (CPAI), which combines universal elements of western assessment with indigenous measures specific to Chinese culture. The CPAI has been used in hundreds of studies on Chinese personality structure and cross-cultural comparisons of various dimensions of personality. Some of the indigenous dimensions were found to be relevant also to non-Chinese cultures and the CPAI was renamed Cross-cultural Personality Assessment Inventory. Cheung has also used her expertise in cross-cultural psychology to study gender equality, violence against women, and women leadership in Chinese populations.

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