Conference Programme 2015

Conference floor plans and map
Tuesday 14th July      Wednesday 15th July      Thursday 16th July      Friday 17th July     


Thursday 16th July, 16:00 - 17:30 Room: O-101

Cultural Response Styles

Convenor Professor Martin Weichbold (University of Salzburg )
Coordinator 1Professor Nina Baur (TU Berlin)
Coordinator 2Dr Wolfgang Aschauer (University of Salzburg)

Session Details

Cross-national and cross-cultural surveys are facing numerous challenges at different stages of the research process. Despite the broad research on potential methodological biases during fieldwork, there are still some fields which gain less attention although they contain a considerable risk of biasing survey data. Various measurement errors (such as social desirability or acquiescence) have been high on the research agenda in survey methodology for a long time, but there are only a few studies on differences of these effects between cultures or nations.
Cultural imprints are a particular threat to the comparability of scales and indicators because we have to assume different levels and/or patterns of response styles in different countries. Challenges posed by cultural response styles have always been highly relevant in the increasing amount of cross-national research but there is growing importance of those potential biases for surveys in single nations as well – due to the growing number of people with immigrant background (at least in European countries). It seems obvious that the prevalence of response styles is related to other cultural patterns and certain contextual data, but there is hardly any systematic research and only sporadic empirical findings.
For the proposed session on cultural response styles we ask researchers for contributions covering one or more of the following topics:
- Providing empirical evidence of differences of response styles in surveys between countries or within countries (between different cultures)
- Searching for certain explanations for this differences (at the individual or contextual level)
- Looking for strategies how to deal with cultural response styles in cross-national surveys

Paper Details

1. Cultural Response Style and Political Knowledge Measurement
Dr Pat Lyons (Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences)

The World in the Year 2000 survey (1967-1972) is one of a few studies that facilitate exploring political knowledge during on either side of Cold War divide reflecting national institutional differences in politics and economics. It is also possible that the determinants of cross-national differences in political knowledge is not based on institutional differences, but reflects important differences across national cultures. Within this paper use will is made of Hofstede’s ‘Cultural Dimensions Theory’. This paper shows that how national samples answer political knowledge questions is interconnected with prevailing cultural values. This implies political knowledge questions reflect more


2. Developing a diagnostic tool for detecting response styles, and a demonstration of its use in comparative research of single item measurements
Ms Eva Van Vlimmeren (Tilburg University)
Mr Guy Moors (Tilburg University)
Mr John Gelissen (Tilburg University)

In this paper a diagnostic tool is developed to detect response styles in survey research when established modes of detecting such biases are not applicable. We use latent class factor analysis on heterogeneous items to estimate the probability that respondents display certain response style patterns, and reveal three common response styles; extreme responding, mild responding, and acquiescence. Besides that, a substantial group of respondents shows no response style of consequence. Countries differ in occurrence of response styles. Controlling its effect on comparing countries on single item measures is significant.


3. Asessment of Standard Measurement of Authoritarianism in a Post-communist Country and Response Style analysis
Mrs Johana Chylíková (The Czech Social Science Data, The Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences)
Mr Martin Buchtík (The Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences)

This paper presents an analysis of the Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) scale in the Czech Republic.The confirmatory factor analysis of Czech data showed that RWA scale is not unidimensional as suggested in original articles based on the American and Canadian data. The Czech data showed a clear pattern of two factors and our aim was to find out whether the two factor solution existed due to the response style or the cultural difference in the understanding the pro-authoritarian and anti-authoritarian items in the RWA scale.


4. Data collection in ergonomics research in Indian Context
Dr Prabir Mukhopadhyay (Indian Institute of Information Technology Design and Manufacturing Jabalpur, India)

This paper investigates different data collection problems from the field in the Indian context in the domain of Ergonomic research. As expensive data collection tools are at a premium in the rural and remote rural areas of India, the researcher has to rely on questionnaire, observation, psycho-physical scales and measurement of heart rate by a stop watch for collecting data for ergonomic research. The range of problems includes lack of repeatability in questionnaire and psycho-physical scales, and severe non-cooperation from the subjects who at times turn violent. These problems and their solutions are discussed in this paper.