Does Culture Matter? Assessing Response Biases in Cross-National Survey Research
International Journal of Research in Marketing, Forthcoming
47 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2010 Last revised: 23 Nov 2010
Date Written: August 16, 2010
Survey research is fraught with serious response tendencies. This study examines the extent and impact of three important response tendencies: socially desirable responding, yea-saying, and nay-saying, in cross-national research. From a survey of 5569 respondents across 15 countries, the study finds evidence of substantial differences across countries. Socially desirable responding is highest in Singapore and Italy, yea-saying is highest in Brazil and India, and nay-saying is highest in Netherlands and Japan. These response tendencies lead to erroneous conclusions about innovativeness based on surveys as compared to that based on market penetration of new products, over-reporting or under-reporting of innovative traits and over-reporting of adoption of new products. Overall, negatively valenced items show the least susceptibility to these response tendencies, can help predict both actual penetration at the aggregate level as well as individual probabilities of adoption, and should be included in cross-national surveys.
Keywords: Response styles, Biases, Socially desirable responding, Cross-national research, International marketing, Consumer innovativeness, Survey research
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