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date: 16 December 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Personality traits play a significant role in facing intercultural challenges. In the present chapter, a model is presented linking certain personality dispositions to intercultural success. The relevance of different approaches to personality will be discussed, focusing on the Big Five, intercultural traits, core self-evaluations, coping styles, learning orientations, and attachment styles. Relying on these approaches, we present a framework linking personality to demands and challenges of intercultural situations. First, stress-buffering traits (e.g., emotional stability, locus of control, emotion-focused coping styles) may protect against loss of control, uncertainty, and adversity in intercultural settings. Second, social-perceptual traits (e.g., agreeableness, extraversion) make individuals feel attracted to the social and cognitive opportunities of intercultural situations. Finally, intercultural situations provide a challenge to one’s identity. The ability to switch between different social identities may be linked to traits such as cultural empathy and open-mindedness. These traits may stimulate the emergence of more complex identities. The chapter will end with the theoretical and practical implications of our model.

Keywords: big five, intercultural traits, core self-evaluations, coping styles, learning orientations, attachment styles, adversity and stress, challenge, social identities, intercultural effectiveness

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