On enhancing the cross-cultural comparability of Likert-Scale Personality and Value Measures: A comparison of common procedures

J. He*, Fons J.r. Van De Vijver, Velichko H. Fetvadjiev, Alejandra De Carmen Dominguez Espinosa, B.G. Adams, Itziar Alonso-arbiol, Arzu Aydinli-karakulak, Carmen Buzea, Radosveta Dimitrova, Alvaro Fortin, Given Hapunda, Sang Ma, Ruta Sargautyte, Samantha Sim, Maja K. Schachner, Angela Suryani, Pia Zeinoun, Rui Zhang, René Mõttus (Editor)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to evaluate a number of procedures that have been proposed to enhance cross-cultural comparability of personality and value data. A priori procedures (anchoring vignettes and direct measures of response styles (i.e. acquiescence, extremity, midpoint responding, and social desirability), a posteriori procedures focusing on data transformations prior to analysis (ipsatization and item parcelling), and two data modelling procedures (treating data as continuous vs as ordered categories) were compared using data collected from university students in 16 countries. We found that (i) anchoring vignettes showed lack of invariance, so they were not bias-free; (ii) anchoring vignettes showed higher internal consistencies than raw scores where all other correction procedures, notably ipsatization, showed lower internal consistencies; (iii) in measurement invariance testing, no procedure yielded scalar invariance; anchoring vignettes and item parcelling slightly improved comparability, response style correction did not affect it, and ipsatization resulted in lower comparability; (iv) treating Likert-scale data as categorical resulted in higher levels of comparability; (v) factor scores of scales extracted from different procedures showed similar correlational patterning; and (vi) response style correction was the only procedure that suggested improvement in external validity of country-level conscientiousness. We conclude that, although no procedure resolves all comparability issues, anchoring vignettes, parcelling, and treating data as ordered categories seem promising to alleviate incomparability. We advise caution in uncritically applying any of these procedures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-657
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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