Cultural differences in survey responding: Issues and insights in the study of response biases

Markus Kemmelmeier
Published Online:
01 Sep 2016
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 51 Issue 6

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This paper introduces the special section “Cultural differences in questionnaire responding” and discusses central topics in the research on response biases in cross‐cultural survey research. Based on current conceptions of acquiescent, extreme, and socially desirable responding, the author considers current data on the correlated nature of response biases and the conditions under which different response styles they emerge. Based on evidence relating different response styles to the cultural dimension of individualism‐collectivism, the paper explores how research presented as part of this special section might help resolves some tensions in this literature. The paper concludes by arguing that response styles should not be treated merely as measurement error, but as cultural behaviors in themselves.

© 2016 International Union of Psychological Science