The Bennett scale, also called the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS), was developed by Dr. Milton Bennett. The framework describes the different ways in which people can react to cultural differences
Denial of Difference Individuals experience their own culture as the only "real" one. Other cultures are either not noticed at all or are understood in an undifferentiated, simplistic manner. People at this position are generally uninterested in cultural difference, but when confronted with difference their seemingly benign acceptance may change to aggressive attempts to avoid or eliminate it. Most of the time, this is a result of physical or social isolation, where the person's views are never challenged and are at the center of their reality.
2.Defense against Difference One's own culture is experienced as the most "evolved" or best way to live. This position is characterized by dualistic us/them thinking and frequently accompanied by overt negative stereotyping. They will openly belittle the differences among their culture and another, denigrating race, gender or any other indicator of difference. People at this position are more openly threatened by cultural difference and more likely to be acting aggressively against it. A variation at this position is seen in reversal where one's own culture is devalued and another culture is romanticized as superior.
3.Minimization of Difference The experience of similarity outweighs the experience of difference. People recognize superficial cultural differences in food, customs, etc.,. but they emphasize human similarity in physical structure, psychological needs, and/or assumed adherence to universal values. People at this position are likely to assume that they are no longer ethnocentric, and they tend to overestimate their tolerance while underestimating the effect (e.g. "privilege") of their own culture. In other words, as explained by the Canadian Center for Intercultural Learning, "people who adopt this point of view generally approach intercultural situations with the assurance that a simple awareness of the fundamental patterns of human interaction will be sufficient to assure the success of the communication. Such a viewpoint is ethnocentric because it presupposes that the fundamental categories of behavior are absolute and that these categories are in fact our own."
4.Acceptance of Difference One's own culture is experienced as one of a number of equally complex worldviews. People at this position accept the existence of culturally different ways of organizing human existence, although they do not necessarily like or agree with every way. They can identify how culture affects a wide range of human experience and they have a framework for organizing observations of cultural difference. We recognize people from this stage through their eager questioning of others. This reflects a real desire to be informed, and not to confirm prejudices. The key words of this stage are "getting to know" or "learning."
5.Adaptation to Difference Individuals are able to expand their own worldviews to accurately understand other cultures and behave in a variety of culturally appropriate ways. Effective use of empathy, or frame of reference shifting, to understand and be understood across cultural boundaries. It is the ability to act properly outside of one's own culture. At this stage, one is able to "walk the talk."
6.Integration of Difference One's experience of self is expanded to include the movement in and out of different cultural worldviews. People at this position have a definition of self that is "marginal" (not central) to any particular culture, allowing this individual to shift rather smoothly from one cultural worldview to another