Likert-type rating scales are susceptible to response styles, such as acquiescence and extremity scoring. Although it is widely acknowledged that response styles can seriously invalidate findings of cross-cultural research, their theoretical underpinnings are hardly explored. The current study analyzed domain-dependency and country differences in acquiescence and extremity scoring in a large dataset of the International Social Survey Program. The hypothesis that response styles are more likely in domains with a high personal relevance compared to domains with a low personal relevance was tentatively confirmed. Correlations with various cultural, psychological, and economic variables were investigated. We found that acquiescence was negatively related to affluence, individualism, and well-being, while extremity was only negatively related to well-being. Positive associations were found between uncertainty avoidance and both acquiescence and extremity.
van Dijk, T. K., Datema, F., Welten, S. C. M., & van de Vijver, F. J. R. (2009). Acquiescence and extremity in cross-national surveys: Domain dependence and country-level correlates. In G. Aikaterini & K. Mylonas (Eds.), Quod Erat Demonstrandum: From Herodotus’ ethnographic journeys to cross-cultural research: Proceedings from the 18th International Congress of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology. https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/iaccp_papers/51/