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Assessing the Reliability and Validity of the Generalized Ethnocentrism Scale
Unformatted Document Text:  Assessing Reliability 2 Assessing the Reliability and Validity of the Generalized Ethnocentrism Scale For nearly a century, social scientists have been interested in the concept and behavioral manifestations of ethnocentrism. One of the first definitions in the social science literature is from Sumner (1906), who defined ethnocentrism as "the technical name for this view of things in which one’s own group is the center of everything, and all others are scaled and rated with reference to it" (p. 13). Fifty years later, Levinson (1950) argued that ethnocentrism is "based on a pervasive and rigid ingroup-outgroup distinction; it involves stereotyped, negative imagery and hostile attitudes regarding outgroups, stereotyped positive imagery and submissive attitudes regarding ingroups, and a hierarchical, authoritarian view of group interaction in which ingroups are rightly dominant, outgroups subordinate" (p. 150). Hence, ethnocentrism can be conceptualized as an individual psychological disposition where the values, attitudes, and behaviors of one’s ingroup are used as the standard for judging and evaluating another group’s values, attitudes, and behaviors. Moreover, outgroup values, attitudes, or behaviors that are perceived as disparate from one’s ingroup are evaluated negatively, as are the members of that outgroup. Neuliep and McCroskey (1997) have asserted that ethnocentrism is universal. They argue that most cultures are so imbedded in their own communication systems and value orientations that there is an ethnocentric proclivity to perceive their distinctive interpretations and perceptions of the world as the most accurate ones. Although other scholars have argued that ethnocentrism is a universal phenomena (cf. Gudykunst & Nishida, 1994; Lustig & Koester, 2003) the magnitude of ethnocentrism may be mediated by culture. Recently, for example,

Authors: Neuliep, James W..
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Assessing Reliability
2
Assessing the Reliability and Validity of the Generalized Ethnocentrism Scale
For nearly a century, social scientists have been interested in the concept and behavioral
manifestations of ethnocentrism. One of the first definitions in the social science literature is
from Sumner (1906), who defined ethnocentrism as "the technical name for this view of things in
which one’s own group is the center of everything, and all others are scaled and rated with
reference to it" (p. 13). Fifty years later, Levinson (1950) argued that ethnocentrism is "based on
a pervasive and rigid ingroup-outgroup distinction; it involves stereotyped, negative imagery and
hostile attitudes regarding outgroups, stereotyped positive imagery and submissive attitudes
regarding ingroups, and a hierarchical, authoritarian view of group interaction in which ingroups
are rightly dominant, outgroups subordinate" (p. 150). Hence, ethnocentrism can be
conceptualized as an individual psychological disposition where the values, attitudes, and
behaviors of one’s ingroup are used as the standard for judging and evaluating another group’s
values, attitudes, and behaviors. Moreover, outgroup values, attitudes, or behaviors that are
perceived as disparate from one’s ingroup are evaluated negatively, as are the members of that
outgroup. Neuliep and McCroskey (1997) have asserted that ethnocentrism is universal. They
argue that most cultures are so imbedded in their own communication systems and value
orientations that there is an ethnocentric proclivity to perceive their distinctive interpretations and
perceptions of the world as the most accurate ones. Although other scholars have argued that
ethnocentrism is a universal phenomena (cf. Gudykunst & Nishida, 1994; Lustig & Koester,
2003) the magnitude of ethnocentrism may be mediated by culture. Recently, for example,


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