Do Reverse-Worded Items Confound Measures in Cross-Cultural Consumer Research? The Case of the Material Values Scale

Nancy Wong, Aric Rindfleisch, James E. Burroughs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Most measures of consumer behavior have been developed and employed in the United States. Thus, relatively little is known about the cross-cultural applicability of these measures. Using Richins and Dawson's (1992) Material Values Scale (MVS) as an exemplar, this article focuses on the problems researchers are likely to encounter when employing domestic mixed-worded scales (i.e., scales that contain both positive- and reverse-worded items) in cross-cultural applications. Through an initial study among over 800 adults from the United States, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, and Korea, we show that the cross-cultural measurement equiv- alence and construct validity of the MVS is challenged by its mixed-worded Likert format. Through a second study among approximately 400 Americans and East Asians, we find that other mixed-worded scales produce similar problems and that the cross-cultural applicability of such scales may be enhanced by replacing items posed as statements with items framed as questions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-91
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

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