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Comparability of self-reported conscientiousness across 21 countries

Mõttus, René; Allik, Jüri; Realo, Anu; Pullman, Helle; Rossier, Jérôme; Zecca, Gregory; Ah-Kion, Jennifer; Amoussou-Yéyé, Dénis; Bäckström, Martin LU and Barkauskiene, Rasa, et al. (2012) In European Journal of Personality 26(3). p.303-317
Abstract
In cross-national studies, mean levels of self-reported phenomena are often not congruent with more objective criteria. One prominent explanation for such findings is that people make self-report judgements in relation to culture-specific standards (often called the reference group effect), thereby undermining the cross-cultural comparability of the judgements. We employed a simple method called anchoring vignettes in order to test whether people from 21 different countries have varying standards for Conscientiousness, a Big Five personality trait that has repeatedly shown unexpected nation-level relationships with external criteria. Participants rated their own Conscientiousness and that of 30 hypothetical persons portrayed in short... (More)
In cross-national studies, mean levels of self-reported phenomena are often not congruent with more objective criteria. One prominent explanation for such findings is that people make self-report judgements in relation to culture-specific standards (often called the reference group effect), thereby undermining the cross-cultural comparability of the judgements. We employed a simple method called anchoring vignettes in order to test whether people from 21 different countries have varying standards for Conscientiousness, a Big Five personality trait that has repeatedly shown unexpected nation-level relationships with external criteria. Participants rated their own Conscientiousness and that of 30 hypothetical persons portrayed in short vignettes. The latter type of ratings was expected to reveal individual differences in standards of Conscientiousness. The vignettes were rated relatively similarly in all countries, suggesting no substantial culture-related differences in standards for Conscientiousness. Controlling for the small differences in standards did not substantially change the rankings of countries on mean self-ratings or the predictive validities of these rankings for objective criteria. These findings are not consistent with mean self-rated Conscientiousness scores being influenced by culture-specific standards. The technique of anchoring vignettes can be used in various types of studies to assess the potentially confounding effects of reference levels. (Less)
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@article{4d5f2f4b-6d7d-4540-af90-c3f3a76be6fd,
  abstract     = {In cross-national studies, mean levels of self-reported phenomena are often not congruent with more objective criteria. One prominent explanation for such findings is that people make self-report judgements in relation to culture-specific standards (often called the reference group effect), thereby undermining the cross-cultural comparability of the judgements. We employed a simple method called anchoring vignettes in order to test whether people from 21 different countries have varying standards for Conscientiousness, a Big Five personality trait that has repeatedly shown unexpected nation-level relationships with external criteria. Participants rated their own Conscientiousness and that of 30 hypothetical persons portrayed in short vignettes. The latter type of ratings was expected to reveal individual differences in standards of Conscientiousness. The vignettes were rated relatively similarly in all countries, suggesting no substantial culture-related differences in standards for Conscientiousness. Controlling for the small differences in standards did not substantially change the rankings of countries on mean self-ratings or the predictive validities of these rankings for objective criteria. These findings are not consistent with mean self-rated Conscientiousness scores being influenced by culture-specific standards. The technique of anchoring vignettes can be used in various types of studies to assess the potentially confounding effects of reference levels.},
  author       = {Mõttus, René and Allik, Jüri and Realo, Anu and Pullman, Helle and Rossier, Jérôme and Zecca, Gregory and Ah-Kion, Jennifer and Amoussou-Yéyé, Dénis and Bäckström, Martin and Barkauskiene, Rasa and Barry, Oumar and Bhowon, Uma and Björklund, Fredrik and Bochaver, Alexandra and Bochaver, Konstantin and de Bruin, Gideon P. and Cabrera, Helena F. and Chen, Sylvia Xiaohua and Church, Timothy A. and Cissé, Daouda Dougoumalé and Dahourou, Donatien and Feng, Xiaohang and Guan, Yanjun and Hwang, Hyi-Sung and Idris, Fazilah and Katigbak, Marcia S. and Kuppens, Peter and Kwiatkowska, Anna and Laurinavicius, Alfredas and Mastor, Khairul Anwar and Matsumoto, David and Reimann, Rainer and Schug, Joanna and Simpson, Brian and Ng Tseung, Caroline},
  issn         = {1099-0984},
  keyword      = {anchoring vignettes,reference group effect,DIF,cross-cultural,aggregate personality scores},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {303--317},
  publisher    = {John Wiley & Sons},
  series       = {European Journal of Personality},
  title        = {Comparability of self-reported conscientiousness across 21 countries},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/per.840},
  volume       = {26},
  year         = {2012},
}