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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.