Society for Cross-Cultural Research Newsletter


Spring 2002


A Message from the President Announcements
SAGA of the Overhead Projector, Part I New Programs
SAGA of the Overhead Projector, Part II Books by SCCR Members
Upcoming Meetings Obituary: Helmut Adler


Judy Gibbons

For those of you who missed it, the February meeting was a success. We had the opportunity to hear interesting, state-of-the art presentations, to get together with old friends and to meet new ones. There were organized symposia on parenting, on cognition and color perception, on the family, and on social science research methods. There were 130 paid registrants, who came to Santa Fe from 13 different countries, including Germany, Singapore, Canada, Russia, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Japan, the UK, Guatemala, Israel, New Zealand, and the U.S.A. Collaborators listed in the program who could not attend were from seven additional countries. Thus, SCCR is becoming quite international in scope. If you missed the meeting, but would like to look at the program, both the program and abstracts will be up on the website for a while longer.

Next year we will be meeting in Charleston and Doug Raybeck is the organizer. It promises to be a very interesting site and, of course, a great meeting. I look forward to seeing all of you there.

Photos of the Meeting




In an effort to save money for SCCR your thrifty meeting organizer decided to buy an overhead projector for $100 rather than rent one for $150 for three days. Of course, the rental comes with an extension cord and we needed to buy one for $7.99. Then, plans to drive to Santa Fe fell through and the O.P had to be shipped for $32.20. Finally, the hotel charged $7 portage for the box to be moved to the meeting room. There were no more costs involved, but we did need to set it up and take it down ourselves. At the end of the conference there was the problem of what to do with the projector. Although Ralph Bolton offered to keep it until the next time we meet in Santa Fe, I offered it to the Instituto de Lingüística in Guatemala. So, the society saved $2.81 and the projector is supporting a worthy project in a developing country.




Dear Judy --

I've been meaning to tell you that the Institute was very grateful for the overhead projector. They even gave me an applause for it at a gathering we had!

SAT almost made me put it on my passport, which would mean I would have had to have it with me upon leaving, if anyone cared to check. I told them I wasn't going to do that, so then they asked how much it was worth, so they could charge me taxes! I said I had no idea and that I needed it for my work. I suggested they open it up and look at it since they had no idea what it was. When we opened it, we saw that the surface glass was cracked. I told them that it was worth nothing with the broken glass and asked if they wanted it. They taped it back up and sent me on my way WITH the projector, no taxes paid. I tried it out in the office and the crack only minimally interferes, not enough to render it worthless.


The Society for Psychological Anthropology will hold its next biennial meeting April 9 to 13th, most likely in San Diego, CA. Please note that the SPA is changing from a fall to spring schedule for the meeting. Watch for further updates and information here, in the SPA column of Anthropology News, and also on the SPA website at . The SPA welcomes all SCCR members to attend and participate in the meeting. For questions contact SCCR member Carmella Moore, SPA Secretary-Treasurer, at .

The 25th International Congress of Applied Psychology (ICAP) will take place at the Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre from July 7 to July 12, 2002. This quadrennial is jointly hosted and organized by the Singapore Psychological Society (SPS) and the National University of Singapore and held under the auspices of the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP).
For more information, go to:

The 16th International Congress of Cross-Cultural Psychology, sponsored by the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology, will be held this year in Yogykarta, Indonesia, from July 15-19, 2002. For more information, go to: or

The 2002 meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development (ISSBD) will be held at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, Canada, August 2-6, 2002. Information about the conference is available at the ISSBD 2002 website at or by mail to ISSBD, School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, PO Box 450 Stn A, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 6N5
Fax +1 613 562 5147

A special conference on Culture, Politics and Development will be held at the Monte Verità in Ascona, Switzerland from October 7–11, 2002.
For more information, please visit:
Correspondence should be addressed to


Hans-Peter Müller would like to point out some key features of his on-going and soon ending research, such as the ATLAS, a coloured ethnographic Atlas for Africa and Asia published in 1999, which is really extraordinary! In addition, a data bank based on Murdock's variables aggregated on national level (= "cultural heritage") is also available. Please visit

Marshall H. Segall has developed a unique exhibition exploring the concept of race entitled, “All of us are related, each of us is unique.” This is a unique, pictorial teaching project that debunks the concept of "race". Please visit the following website: to preview the exhibition and for more information on how colleges, universities, libraries, etc. can purchase a copy of this important scholarly resource.

A note of thanks to all of you from the Society for Cross-Cultural Research who have sent email, cards, and telephone calls. The good news is that I learned in early February that I had normal blood tests for the first time in two years. Although the lymphoma is always present in my bone marrow, spleen, and lymph nodes, I have no symptoms and present the oncologists with a “fine and rare example of a patient who is ‘pushing the envelope’ for survival time and good health.”
Nancy and I find joy in every day. We continue to be productive in all facets of our life, and thankful for friends, family, and colleagues.
All the best,
Ron Rohner

Ron with granddaughter Mary Gail Brush


UCLA announces the establishment of the Center for Culture, Brain, and Development.

CBD organizes graduate and post-doctoral training for research on the interaction among processes of cultural transmission, development, and brain functioning. It also facilitates interchange and collaboration among participating faculty. CBD is supported by a grant from the Foundation for Psychocultural Research. Faculty participants come from UCLA programs in Psychology, Anthropology, Neuroscience (including the Brain Mapping Center), Applied Linguistics, and Education.

Participating graduate students are admitted to one of these programs and receive CBD training to study how the brain, culture, and ontogeny interact. Participating graduate students may be funded by their home
departments, UCLA fellowships, or external sources. In addition, CBD annually awards two one-year Graduate fellowships; recipients of these fellowships receive additional funding and teaching assistantships from the participating departments and the Graduate Division. Participating graduate students attend the Forum and the Integrative Seminar and are eligible to apply to CBD for small research or travel grants. With their Ph.D. they receive a certificate attesting to their CBD training.

Post-doctoral fellows receive integrative training and collaborate with CBD faculty on research linking development, brain mechanisms, and culture. CBD provides two one-year post-doctoral fellowships each year, renewable for a second year. Post-doctoral researchers funded from other sources are also welcome to participate in the CBD program. Post-doctoral fellows attend the Forum and the Integrative Seminar and are eligible to apply to CBD for small research or travel grants. Post-doctoral fellows work primarily with faculty mentors in fields other than the one in which they received their Ph.D.

At the biweekly Forum, speakers present research exploring how development, culture, and brain are integrated. The Integrative Seminar explores how culture, development, and the brain affect each other.
For further information, go to our web site: Or e-mail, call 310 206-9046, or write to

Center for Culture, Brain, and Development
Department of Psychology, UCLA
1282A Franz Hall
405 Hilgard Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563


Harriet P. Lefley is an editor (along with Dale B. Johnson) of “Family Interventions in Mental Illness: International Perspectives (Praeger, 2002). The chapters represent research currently being done in Australia. Austria, China, India, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the U.K. and the United States. The book focuses on treatment approaches for persons with serious mental illness and their families in different cultural settings, relating mental health service delivery to cultural and political change. Content includes sections on family caregiving and treatment involvement, collaborative models of service delivery, the growth of family organizations, and the relation of socioeonomic, political, and cultural factors to mental health policy.

Helmut E. Adler, Ph.D.
11-25-1920 to 6-7-2001

Helmut E. Adler, Ph.D., was a highly esteemed psychologist and a recognized scholar by his colleagues. He was respected and admired by his numerous friends and former students. He died of a sudden heart attack at his home on June 7th, 2001. At the time of his death he was investigating the pioneer woman psychologist Lillien Martin, in order to write a chapter for one of the sequences of volumes on the “Portraits of the Pioneers in Psychology, Vol. 5” (Kimble & Wertheimer, Eds, in press.) Among Dr. Adler's major interests was the life of Gustav Theodor Fechner, including his research, his ideas, and his writings. Previously, Dr. Adler had translated the first volume of the Elements of Psychophysics complying with a wish expressed frequently by Professor Edwin G. Boring. The publication commemorated the 100's anniversary of Fechner's publication in 1866. In addition, Dr. Adler wrote about other "Pioneers”; among these was a chapter on Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz (Kimble & Wertheimer, Eds., 2000).

The Adler Clan in 1997
Center, in blue suit: Helmut; right: Leonore

Of course his involvement with several different pioneers in the field of psychology was not Helmut E. Adler's only interest. One of his earliest areas of research was animal behavior. His dissertation was under Professor Carl J. Warden's guidance on observational learning in cats, which he conducted at Columbia University. This was where he received his B.S. in 1948, his M.A. in 1949, and his Ph.D. in 1952; and in addition he was a certified psychologist. His first professional employment as Assistant at Columbia University started in 1949 and lasted until 1960; for the last 5 years he held the title of Lecturer. However, his major affiliation was with Yeshiva University, which started in 1950. Dr. Helmut E. Adler was not only the Chair of the Department of Psychology, but he was also teaching a diversified curriculum of courses.

He held the title of Professor from 1964 to 1991 when he became Professor Emeritus. Dr. Adler was the founder of the Psi Chi Chapter, of the Honor Society in Psychology at Yeshiva University, where he was the Faculty Advisor for 42 years. He loved teaching and had many wonderful and dedicated students -- in some cases a few students were the second generation of his students. -- As a matter of fact, at the time of his death he looked forward to teaching a course in the Fall Semester 2001.

While Dr. Helmut E. Adler was active writing books and articles, he was also a frequent presenter at professional meetings. The summer months gave him the opportunities to travel and present his papers around the globe, including the United States of America, Canada and Mexico, and also different countries in Europe and Asia, as well as in Australia and New Zealand.

As an additional affiliation Dr. Adler became first a Research Fellow in 1955, and then a Research Associate from 1969 to 1984 at the American Museum of Natural History. It was during this time that he did his famous studies on the migration of birds. One could say that it represented the cutting edge of research using computer simulation of the migratory paths and movements of birds, including whooping cranes and pigeons. In these studies Helmut E. Adler was collaborating with his son Barry P. Adler, a computer expert. Their presentations in 1965 and 1966 were forecasting the use of computers in science.

Yet, Dr. Adler was interested in expanding his research on observational learning. Together with his wife, Dr. Leonore Loeb Adler, they wanted to investigate the earliest time to learn by observation in dogs. While they approached several breeders, none of them supplied the puppies for the study. Therefore they bred the puppies in their own home. They needed several litters. Eventually the results showed that, while puppies are born blind, observational learning occurs as soon as the eyes become functional. (For this study the Adlers used the original "duplicate cage apparatus" from Columbia University.)

The summertime was also the time when the two Drs. Adler pursued their interest in animal behavior. They volunteered their time and efforts to study mostly sea mammals at the Mystic Marinelife Aquarium in Mystic, Ct., from 1976 to 1986. While they started with experiments on observational learning in dolphins, they expanded this research and also tested sealions. Eventually their investigations with dolphins and one belukha whale focused on cognitive research.

After several years the Adlers were accused of dealing with a "Clever Hans Effect," which is the possibility of giving unwitting cues to the experimental animal. Three years after the original experiment they set out on a follow-up study. (See Adler & Adler, 1990.) They used a completely "blind" procedure (which was recorded on video tape). The results clearly showed that there had never been any "Clever Hans Effect".

Dr. Helmut E. Adler shared his wife's interest in cross-cultural psychology and research. They co-authored many studies and presented the results together. Dr. Helmut E. Adler was a scientist of versatile interests and a wealth of knowledge. He was-listed in 'Who’s Who in the East"; he was the recipient of the "Wilhelm Wundt Award" from the Academic Division of the New York State Psychological Association; he was Secretary General of the Section on Comparative Psychology and Animal Behavior of the International Union of Biological Sciences from 1972 to 1986. And, Dr. Adler was on the Advisory Committee, Section of Psychology, of The New York Academy of Sciences from 1972 to 2000. Of course there were other outstanding memberships and affiliations with other organizations.

Dr. Helmut E. Adler is survived by his wife, Dr. Leonore Loeb Adler, and their three children: Barry P. Adler, a computer programmer and systems analyst; Dr. Beverly S. Adler-Gross, a licensed clinical psychologist; and Evelyn R. Agostini a payroll administrator with the Foundation Center. There are seven grandchildren who mourn the loss of their Granddad: Beth, Derek, Lynnette, Annette, Harrison, Taylor, and Stan.

All in all, Dr. Helmut E. Adler fitted the image of what the German people call a "Gelehrter" - a learned man, dedicated to the study of science, and possessing enormous knowledge. In essence, he enjoyed a long, successful and fulfilling life.

Leonore Loeb Adler, Ph.D.
Institute for Cross,-Cultural and Cross-Ethnic Studies,
and Department of Psychology, Molloy College, NY.