Clusters of cultures: Diversity in meaning of family value and gender role items across Europe

E. van Vlimmeren, G.B.D. Moors, J.P.T.M. Gelissen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
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Survey data are often used to map cultural diversity by aggregating scores of attitude and value items across countries. However, this procedure only makes sense if the same concept is measured in all countries. In this study we argue that when (co)variances among sets of items are similar across countries, these countries share a common way of assigning meaning to the items. Clusters of cultures can then be observed by doing a cluster analysis on the (co)variance matrices of sets of related items. This study focuses on family values and gender role attitudes. We find four clusters of cultures that assign a distinct meaning to these items, especially in the case of gender roles. Some of these differences reflect response style behavior in the form of acquiescence. Adjusting for this style effect impacts on country comparisons hence demonstrating the usefulness of investigating the patterns of meaning given to sets of items prior to aggregating scores into cultural characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2737-2760
JournalQuality & Quantity
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Cross-cultural comparative research
  • Measurement invariance
  • Acquiescence
  • Cultural diversity
  • Gender roles
  • Family values


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