Culture-Based Extreme Response Bias in Surveys Employing Variable Response Items: An Investigation of Response Tendency among Hispanic-Americans

By Culpepper, Robert A.; Zimmerman, Raymond A. | Journal of International Business Research, July 2006 | Go to article overview

Culture-Based Extreme Response Bias in Surveys Employing Variable Response Items: An Investigation of Response Tendency among Hispanic-Americans


Culpepper, Robert A., Zimmerman, Raymond A., Journal of International Business Research


ABSTRACT

Survey response biases can render results from a number of statistical tests completely spurious, especially those from analyses based on survey data employing Likert-type items. This problem is particularly endemic to international studies and multiple studies over the years have suggested that cultural traits in a society lead to response bias. There is some evidence that response bias is a problem in Latin cultures, such as that dominant in Mexico. Thus far there has been very little work examining whether Hispanics in the United States are subject to survey response bias. This study used a sample of 316 university students, roughly half of whom identified themselves has Hispanic, to test whether extreme response tendency and/or midpoint bias could be shown in that American subpopulation. Results of a Multivariate Analysis of Variance procedure showed that compared to non-Hispanics, Hispanic respondents exhibited not only extreme response bias (the tendency to use "1"s and "7"s more often on a seven-point scale) but also used significantly fewer midpoints on the scale.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Empirical work in the field of International Business must often bridge a large cultural chasm that raises a number of methodological difficulties. One of the most formidable is the pervasive use of Likert-type and semantic differential rating scales and their long-recognized susceptibility to culture-related response bias ENRf8(Adler, Campbell, & Laurent, 1989; Jaccard & Wan, 1986; Leung & Bond, 1989; Mullen, 1995; Zax & Takashi, 1967). The implications of ignoring response tendency differences can be profound, leading to major inferential errors in cross-cultural research ENRf8(Chun, Campbell, & Yoo, 1974; Cronbach, 1946; Singh, 1995).

For example, Adler and colleagues ENRf8(1989) encountered such unusual response distributions for Likert-type items among P.R.C. managers in their study that they abandoned substantive inquiry addressing U.S.-P.R.C. differences in managerial attitudes altogether and analyzed instead methodological barriers to cross-cultural research. Unfortunately, the literature addressing cultural differences in response tendencies is relatively undeveloped, in part because cross-cultural studies often ignore this problem, and indeed measurement concerns altogether ENRf8(Singh, 1995). This is despite major inferential limitations and distortions that are operant, whether acknowledged or not. If present, cultural response bias distorts statistical analysis by : (1) rendering group mean differences uninterpretable, (2) spuriously raising or lowering indexes of a measure's internal consistency, (3) spuriously affecting correlations between variables and related techniques such as regression, and (4) affecting the results of methods assessing underlying dimensions, such as factor analysis ENRf8(Chun et al., 1974).

Many subfields within the field of International Business make heavy use of survey methodology. Surveys are typically distributed to respondents in more than one country, very often including the US, for comparison purposes. These surveys are commonly used to determine how those from other cultures differ from Americans on one or more behavioral dimensions. The surveys may be given in English to English-speaking foreigners or translated into native languages. Regardless of which form the survey may take, response data from more than one country are often not directly comparable due to the problem of response bias.

Response bias refers to the fact that survey-takers have been observed to respond to typical Likert-type or semantic differential scale items (items that employ multiple-response scales; e.g., "I am satisfied with my job"--respondent chooses "1" = strongly disagree, "2" = moderately disagree, etc.) in very different ways based on their cultural background. For example, Americans are thought to exhibit a "midpoint bias" when confronted with a statement with which one must indicate some measure of agreement or disagreement on five-point or seven-point scale, they will tend to circle middling responses around the neutral point on the scale. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Culture-Based Extreme Response Bias in Surveys Employing Variable Response Items: An Investigation of Response Tendency among Hispanic-Americans
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.