The relation between culture and response styles: Evidence from 19 countries

Timothy Johnson, Patrick Kulesa, Young Ik Cho, Sharon Shavitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors investigated at the country level the effects of four cultural orientations identified and studied by Hofstede on two commonly recognized response biases: extreme response style and acquiescent responding. Data are presented from approximately 18,000 survey questionnaires completed by employees in 19 nations on five continents (Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Malaysia, Portugal, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Mexico, the Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Hong Kong, France, and Italy). Hierarchical linear modeling was employed to examine the associations between person-level response styles and country-level cultural orientations. Consistent with theoretical expectations, power distance and masculinity were found to be positively and independently associated with extreme response style. Individualism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance, and masculinity were each found to be negatively associated with acquiescent response behavior. Further research is needed to identify how question characteristics might interact with cultural orientations to influence response behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-277
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Acquiescence
  • Cross-cultural
  • Culture-level
  • Extreme response style
  • Method bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology


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