As spaceflights became more international and crews more multicultural, cultural awareness and sensitivity became one of the skills required for astronauts. Finding the right balance is crucial since overlooking cross-culturality might lead to cultural insensitivity and exaggerating it might promote stereotyping.
An approach to cross-cultural training (used in astronauts' training) is the so-called culture assimilator which consists of 100 to 200 scenarios where people from two cultures interact. Each scenario is followed by several explanations of why the member of the "other" culture acted in a specific way. The learner selects one explanation and then gets feedback for the chosen explanation. Trainees, after a while, start selecting explanations of the others' behaviour that are closer to the others' culture. In other words, the trainees' attributions become more specific, more complex, and less ethnocentric (Draguns & Harrison, 2011).
- Draguns, J. G. & Harrison, A. A. (2011) Spaceflight and Cross-Cultural Psychology. Contemporary Research in Historical Perspective; edited by Vakoch, D. A., 177-194
- Space age fashion à la Pierre Cardin, photograph via