- Author： Hsiao Jen-chao
- Title of Thesis： The Impact of Character and Ethnic Group Factors in the Responsive Process of Negative Living Incident – Example of Ethnic Hakkanese Group
- Degree： Ph. D.
- Research affiliation： Institute of Psychology, National Taiwan University
- Year thesis completed： 1999
The basic study framework Hsiao’s article uses is the pressure model, with which large-scale sampling survey and small-scale in-depth interview are conducted. On the one hand, the impact brought upon one’s health of body and mind by general character’s characteristics is explored and, on the other hand, using ethnic Hakkanese group as the theme to examine the characteristics of ethnic Hakkanese group character and the characteristics of society support to further understand how one responds to pressure and the impact upon one’s health of body and mind brought by the characteristics of ethnic Hakkanese group character and the characteristics of society support.
Hsiao’s article discovers five major character’s characteristics, namely, ‘snobbish and and boastful,’ ‘ mild and lenient,’ ‘extrovert and open-minded,’ ‘steady and able,’ and ‘provocative and stubborn’ that could bring about different impact upon one’s body and mind. In the follow-up analysis over the subject by ethnic Hakkanese group and non-ethnic Hakkanese group, the article discovers that the path that affects subject of different ethnic group with different character characteristics appears to be different in the issue of response to pressure. The four character characteristics that ethnic Hakkanese group possesses are ‘perseverance and persistence without compromise,’ ‘hard-working and thrifty,’ ‘team player and care about feelings,’ and ‘innovative and willing to try.” Naturally, the affecting path toward the health of body and mind as well as response to pressure is also different. Among them, ‘hard-working and thrifty’ has a buffer factor of direct effect toward symptom of the body and mind. For ‘perseverance and persistence without compromise,’ it has unfavorable direct and indirect factor; for ‘innovative and willing to try,” it holds buffer factor; for ‘team player and care about feelings,’ and ‘perseverance and persistence without compromise,’ they both possess the buffer factor of slight indirect effect.
According to the results of the study, Hsiao’s article suggests that the character characteristics of an ethnic group and its response to pressure and the impact upon one’s health of body and mind may be incorporated into health issues concerning ethnic groups. The results of the study contribute quite a bit to healthy psychology, be it in theory or in clinic test. But the ambition of Hsiao’s article does not end there. It also touches upon a lot more on the exploration of the so-called ethnicity of the ethnic Hakkanese group.
Hsiao’s article believes that it is necessary to define the word ‘ethnic Hakkanese group’ if one is to pursue further in the study of ethnic Hakkanese group so that there is a common communication ground that different scholars may communicate with each other. Once the definition for ethnic Hakkanese group is set, it may be used to measure the quantity and changes of the ethnicity to compile different comparisons among different ethnic groups（Hsiao 2000:54）. In response to this ambition, the answer as shown in Hsiao’s article is quite clear and precise. Hsiao’s article uses open-ended questions to collect the concept that Hakkanese embrace toward ethnicity and then compile a Measurement Table (Hard Neck) of the Character Characteristics of Hakkanese Group. The table classifies four characteristics, i.e., ‘perseverance and persistence without compromise,’ ‘hard-working and thrifty,’ ‘team player and care about feelings,’ and ‘innovative and willing to try” along with a Hakka Index, derived from Hakkanese language ability and Hakkanese recognition. They are somewhat related to one another although the first three appear to have more clear effect（Hsiao 2000:140，191-2）. In short, Hsiao’s article believes that it has preliminarily pointed out the characteristics of ethnic Hakkanese group, which is again somewhat related to language and recognition.
The series of demonstration has obviously indistinguishably three nouns: ethnicity, characteristics of ethnic group, and character of ethnic group. The article’s understanding of ethnicity comes from national character, racial character and（Hsiao 2000:36）. But it happens this is a misunderstanding. Ethnicity is the English translation of ‘chuchunhsing’ or character of ethnic group whereas the ‘hsing’ of ethnicity should be a property, with which to judge or measure to which ethnic group one belongs. The objective side of the property includes inborn relationship by blood, postnatal historical or cultural characteristics. In addition, it has the subjective side, that is, personal recognition. It is for this reason that some anthropologists have attempted recently to translate ‘ethnicity’ into ‘chushu’ or to which ethnic group it belongs. The translation may further compare with relatives. But when we compare the definition of ethnicity as Hsiao’s article has set, it says ‘based on the same Hakkanese relationship by blood and with the common Hakkanese recognition to conceive a common character characteristics and society support network’（Hsiao 2000:70）. Despite the definition has referred to relationship by blood and recognition, the subject of the definition is instead common character characteristics and society support network. Moreover, when one looks at the logic and the size of the whole article, it appears character is core of the whole article. In short, Hsiao’ article in fact has asserted the of many individuals as the character of ethnic group and misunderstand it as the character of ethnic group.
If Hsiao’s article has put the section of the complete so-called character of ethnic group on hold and uses the of the ethnic group to address the ethnic group variable of responsive process to negative living incident, as does the methodology he uses, the article, as a thesis of psychology, would have been near perfect. This is why Hsiao’s article has achieved such a success in both healthy psychology and the character of ethnic Hakkanese group, thanks to the psychological professionalism the author possesses and the adequate theme sense the author selects. Then the next focal point of study is just like what Hsiao’s article suggests: The Measurement Table of the Character Characteristics of Hakkanese Group reflects only the total volume of society support; it does not show the substance contents of society support for the substance contents are far more meaningful than the total volume of society support（Hsiao 2000:194）。
Furthermore, sampling collection Hsiao’s article uses is actually personal psychology. Future development direction of Hsiao’s article on the substance contents of society support that the author views heavily, the commentator worries, may tend to appear in collective manner. As such, if one wishes to expand the study results, it is inevitable that in theory, it must divert from general psychology or healthy psychology to mass psychology or social psychology. Since sampling of Hsiao’s article primarily comes from Taoyuan County, future students may come out of the hospital to see the Taoyuan Hakkanese community where patients and their family members have been interviewed. From there the substance contents and the so-called society support network may be concretely constructed to reflect the total society support volume. Besides, candidate Hsiao has the personal experience in the post-921 earthquake psychological rehabilitation work at Tungshih Township of Taichung County. If such a practical experience is applied to a study plan, the findings would be a real society from the background from the debris of a devastating earthquake and genuine personal psychology. Only in so doing, Hsiao’s article may truly respond to the expectation of the study of the ethnicity of ethnic Hakkanese group.