IDI Validation Research

The Intercultural Development Inventory®, or IDI®, is a widely-used assessment of intercultural competence, with over 60 published articles and chapters and over 66 Ph.D. dissertations.

The IDI has been rigorously tested and found to possess high cross-cultural validity and reliability. As a result, validity of the IDI is established not through “face” validity, but, rather, far more rigorous psychometric criteria. In other words, a person cannot “just look at the IDI items and determine what it measures or whether it is a valid assessment.”

In fact, a person’s subjective viewing of IDI items to determine whether the IDI “is a good measure of intercultural competence” is far less valid than reviewing the extensive social science validation protocols of the IDI. The result of these validation studies of the IDI provides objective confidence that:

  • The IDI is a cross-culturally generalizable (i.e., international and domestic diverse culture groups), valid and reliable measure of intercultural competence that does not contain cultural bias.

The extensive psychometric validation protocols used in constructing the IDI are described in greater detail in the following publications and independent reviews. These publications and independent reviews also provide information regarding the multiple research studies that have been conducted specifically validating the IDI:

Instrument Development Criteria
IDI Fully Meets Criteria
  • Testing confirmed the underlying theoretical framework of the IDI—the Intercultural Development Continuum or IDC (e.g., high inter-rater reliabilities based on in-depth interview analysis & correlational analysis)
  • IDI items reflect perspectives of people from a wide range of international and domestic cultural groups (e.g., through in-depth interviews)
  • IDI does not contain cultural bias (e.g., initial pool of items generated from statements made by culturally diverse interviewees—not by the researchers)
  • IDI validity and reliability results confirmed in large, multicultural samples—over 10,000 individuals (e.g., using rigorous Confirmatory Factor Analysis in item/scale analysis)
  • IDI has strong “content” validity (e.g., initial item pool generated from actual statements made by interviewee’s from a wide-range of cultural groups & Expert Panel Review used to narrow item pool—with high inter-rater reliabilities)
  • IDI has strong “construct” validity (IDI Orientations correlated as predicted to Worldmindedness (cognitive measure) and Intercultural Anxiety (affective measure)
  • IDI has strong “predictive” validity in organizations (e.g., IDI predictive of success in diversity recruitment and hiring)
  • IDI has strong “predictive” validity in education (e.g., IDI predictive of achievement of study abroad outcomes)
  • IDI Developmental Orientation and Perceived Orientation scores are highly reliable (.82, .83, coefficient alpha & all sub-scales achieved satisfactory reliabilities)
  • Readability analysis of the IDI indicates the IDI is appropriate for individuals 15 years of age or higher)