Response Styles In Rating Scales: Evidence of Method Bias in Data from 6 EU Countries

H. van Herk, Y.H. Poortinga, T.M.M. Verhallen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademic


In cross-cultural studies with social variables such as values or attitudes, it is often assumed that differences in scores can be compared at face value. However, response styles like acquiescence and extreme response style may affect answers, particularly on rating scales. In three sets of data from marketing studies, each with representative samples from at least three out of six countries (Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom), these two response styles were found to be more present in the Mediterranean than in Northwestern Europe. Evidence for response style effects was not only found in response distributions on rating scales, but also in discrepancies of these distributions with national consumer statistics and self-reported actual behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-360
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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