Culture and the Home-Field Disadvantage

Douglas Medin*, Will Bennis, Michael Chandler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


The home-field disadvantage refers to the disadvantage inherent in research that takes a particular cultural group as the starting point or standard for research, including cross-cultural research. We argue that home-field status is a serious handicap that often pushes researchers toward deficit thinking, however good the researchers' intentions may be. In this article, we aim to make this home-field bias more explicit and, in doing so, more avoidable. We discuss three often-overlooked disadvantages that result from this home-field status: the problem of marked versus unmarked culture, the problem of homogenous versus heterogeneous culture, and the problem of regression toward the mean. We also recommend four interventions researchers can apply to avoid the home-field disadvantage or, at the least, attenuate its deleterious effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)708-713
Number of pages6
JournalPerspectives on Psychological Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • cross-cultural psychology
  • psychological distance
  • research bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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