Food Science Chairman obtains his Ph. D. from the School of Business and Technology at Capella

Feb 01, 2010

Dr. Robert Pierson, chair of the Food Science and Management department, has successfully defended his dissertation at Capella University's School of Business and Technology and received his Ph. D. The abstract can be found below.


This is a quasi-experimental study using a cross-sectional research design, intended to provide insight into how Arcadia University students who have spent a semester abroad in an L1 (English-language) environment score on the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) instrument (Hammer & Bennett, 1999,2001), compared to those who have yet to embark on this type of study abroad program. The students identified as Study Abroad Participants had already completed an academic semester in an English-speaking country before taking part in the research. The Intended Participants planned to participate in a semester-long program of study in an English-speaking destination. The Non-Study Abroad Group did not plan to participate in study abroad as Arcadia undergraduates. The participants were college students at a small private university in the northeastern United States. This study examined scoring differences in the three respective groups of students. Statistical significance was found in two of the subscales of the Intercultural Development Inventory. These results suggest that for American undergraduates, study abroad in a country where English is the predominant language may improve intercultural sensitivity. This exploratory research concluded that further research is necessary to prove a cause and effect relationship between study abroad in an English-speaking country and enhanced intercultural sensitivity.