Rugby versus Soccer in South Africa: Content familiarity contributes to cross-cultural differences in cognitive test scores
Temane, Qambeshile Michael
Van de Vijver, Alphonsius Josephus Rachel
MetadataShow full item record
In this study, cross-cultural differences in cognitive test scores are hypothesized to depend on a test's cultural complexity (Cultural Complexity Hypothesis: CCH), here conceptualized as its content familiarity, rather than on its cognitive complexity (Spearman's Hypothesis: SH). The content familiarity of tests assessing short-term memory, attention, working memory, and figural and verbal fluid reasoning, was manipulated by constructing test versions with an item content derived from either Afrikaans or Tswana culture in South Africa. Both test versions were administered to children of both cultures. The sample consisted of 161 urban Afrikaans, 181 urban, and 159 rural Tswana children (Mage = 9.37 years). Children generally performed best on the test version that was designed for their own group, particularly on the cognitively and culturally complex working memory and figural fluid reasoning tests. This relation between content familiarity and cognitive test performance supports CCH and disconfirms SH.