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Effect of Culture on Scales

I am considering implementing a study asking respondents to rate several items on 1-10 scale. In America, I know the limitations of the scale.

However taking a global perspective, what is the appropriate scale to use; 1-10 in America, culturally, does not mean the same thing in other parts of the world.

I anticipate conducting the study with American, Canadian, Irish, and Japanese respondents. Does anyone know of any research on research that covers this. Then on the analysis end, how best to normalize these different scores using potentially different scales so that an apples to apples, so to speak, comparison/analysis can be conducted.

Your help is greatly appreciated

Some Existing Research

Hear is a link to some research germane to your question:

You will have to re-assemble the link, but this should get you started.

Effect of Culture on Scales -- Link

For convenience, I converted that long link above into one that is easier to use:


Effect of Culture on Scales


Thank you for truncating the link! Your work made it much easier.


Effect of Culture on Scales


Fanstastic article! Thank you very much for recommending and passing along.

In Assessing Generalizability, several articles by Steenkamp and Baumgartner (among others) are mentioned that cover scalar invariance, and I have looked at those, do you know of any others?

Thanks again,


Effect of Culture on Scales

This issue is fraught with difficulty and much debtate -and to a certain extent it does no matter what kind of scale you use, Japnese will always be more pessimistic than Filipinos or Italians! I would make one practical observation. Having worked across many countries over many years, in recent years I've been developing global research products utilising the ability of CAPI/Online/Mobile surveys to produce graphical scales with no numbers/words and using symbols (e.g. smiling faces/traffic lights etc.). The response distribution range these produce (in all countries) is remarkably better and seems to be more sensitive in realting attitudes to behaviour. Hopefully more acedmic research using these will be undertaken.

Culture & scales

I realize this post comes long after your original question, but in case you're still looking, check out "Think about which Scale you use!", a presentation by Josh Rossol - Ziment, USA at last year's EphMRA conference.

Effect of Culture on Scales

Whew!, I teach a whole class on this subject. To put is simply, the ultimate effect of European contact on many Native American cultures are:

large scale population decline
socio/cultural disruption and a need to adapt to survive
loss of important tradition
loss of many traditional pracitces (stone tool production, ceramic production, etc.)
loss of land
loss of soverignty
..... the list goes on.

The following is from the notes I use when discussing an example of this in my class. I hope you find it helpful:

The protohistoric period can be identified as “when did European things show up, but not Europeans. These items did have an effect on cultures but not the wholesale effect that actual contact would have.

Mechanism of contact
Discovery of new resource
Exploitation of resource
Go further for more
Discovery of new population
Trade with new population
Exchange of goods first
Exchange of ideas
Closer contact-more often
Increased Trade
Settlement to help trade and establish bases for control and processing of resource
Beginning of contact period

For Iroquois of central New York this can be traced to at least 1575, if not to 1550. Sparse trade goods are found on site in the Mohawk Valley, up to 45 miles west of Albany, but there was no settlement anywhere until Fort Nassau in1613 and this only last for a brief period. Then Fort Orange in the 1620's. Yet we see increasing evidence of trade so that by 1600 there is significant quantities of trade goods (beads) on sites. This continued to increase in number and variety once the Dutch settled around Albany.

Results of contact
Changes in cultural patterns
At first adopting new materials to Old ways,
examples of brass being reshaped, glass beads to replace crystals and bone and shell beads.

Later changes in settlement patterns and aspects of culture itself (position of burials)
Fabric of culture changes as other effects of contact hit -
competition for trade/loss of traditional economies
disease !!!!!!
Depopulation - estimates range from 60-90 percent within 50 years
“Holes in society”
Missing people- missing roles, loss of faith in healers, spiritualists
Blame on Missionaries -
Many societies devastated - some survive

Often contact led to conflict with whites as well as between native nations.

In a few instances Native American groups would ban together against whites, often with great success,
pueblo revolt of late 17th century in SW,
King Philip,
But native American cultures are based on consensus, not hierarchy like ours, so once the common threat was no longer perceived, tribes would head off in different directions. Giving the whites the opportunity to re-organize and come back.

These loose confederations even were present within groups, such as the Iroquois. While the League or Confederacy worked as a mutual non-aggression pact within the league, each nation was able to treat outsiders however they saw fit.
As a result Mohawk-English/Dutch and Seneca-Onondaga-French connections led to some internal splits within the league, that made perfect sense to the members but were difficult for the whites to understand.
This ability to factionalize led to the split within the league during the revolution - Oneida and Tuscarora sided with colonies, the others with the crown. - continues even today in many ways.

Throughout this period, some tribes had been seen as important allies, helping to protect and support the colonies,
-providing subsistence help and information on resources in territory to initial settlers
-providing buffers along the frontiers between European claims,
-controlling the tribes further west and bringing in resources from the frontier.

However after the Revolution, the fledgling US government no longer saw the Indians as a helpful necessity, now there was a need to expand westward, to provide land to all the soldiers that had fought in the revolution, as they had been promised, and the Indians became a nuisance that needed to be dealt with.