Biculturalism: A model of the effects of second-culture exposure on acculturation and integrative complexity

Carmit T. Tadmor*, Philip E. Tetlock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Growing numbers of people are being exposed to a second culture, yet the process by which individuals absorb a cultural identity and the role played by second-culture exposure in shaping sociocognitive skills have received little theoretical attention. This article begins to fill these knowledge gaps by delineating the factors that affect the adoption of specific acculturation strategies and focusing on the power of secondculture exposure to stimulate integratively complex cognitions that give people the flexibility to shift rapidly from one cultural meaning system to another. We propose a model, influenced by prior work on value pluralism and accountability, which outlines the underlying mechanisms that determine acculturation choice and that produce both individual difference and situational variation in integrative complexity of social functioning. Implications for expatriate performance are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-190
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Accountability
  • Acculturation
  • Biculturalism
  • Integrative complexity
  • Overseas assignments
  • Perspective taking
  • Value pluralism


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