What's wrong with cross-cultural comparisons of subjective Likert scales?: The reference-group effect.

  title={What's wrong with cross-cultural comparisons of subjective Likert scales?: The reference-group effect.},
  author={Steven J. Heine and Darrin R. Lehman and K. Peng and Joe F. Greenholtz},
  journal={Journal of personality and social psychology},
  volume={82 6},
Social comparison theory maintains that people think about themselves compared with similar others. Those in one culture, then, compare themselves with different others and standards than do those in another culture, thus potentially confounding cross-cultural comparisons. A pilot study and Study 1 demonstrated the problematic nature of this reference-group effect: Whereas cultural experts agreed that East Asians are more collectivistic than North Americans, cross-cultural comparisons of trait… 

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