First Advisor

Sandra Basgall


This study examines the effects of Anticipatory Fear and Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC) on forty-four graduate students from a college in New England. It measures the relationship between the anticipatory fear students experienced before entering their internships, the courses they took, age, nationality, gender, stage of internship, and the level of stress or culture shock they experienced in the subsequent internships.

Data was gathered with the use of a survey, employing a mailed, self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire was delivered via both electronic and postal mail. Forty-four responses were gathered and tabulated. Data was analyzed, with the assistance of relevant literature. Redmond and Bunydi's (1993) findings apply to the research results indicating that the higher students' ICC, the more severe stress they may experience. The results also correlate with Janis (1971) and Chiu's (1995) claim that people with different anticipatory fear levels will have different reactions to stressful situations.

Although the majority of the students disagreed with the notion that a higher level of information and cultural sensitivity (high ICC) results in greater stress, the results of the study imply that the higher the ICC, the more stress the students might experience upon entering a new culture, company or other new situation.

This project may be useful to cross-cultural trainers and other individuals with interest in the topics of intercultural communicative competence, culture shock, and stress.


International and Intercultural Communication