Okay, I'll take the bait...
Harris Interactive had a conference in Chicago not long ago where they
presented on the regional/country differences in scale response among their
Western European/Scandinavian panelists. My takeaway from the paper
was...there are regional differences in the way respondents treat these
This is bad news because you can't compare directly and you can't
"normalize" across countries unless you know without question that the
respondents are all getting exactly the same level of
service/performance/product quality across countries. Someone has probably
done some kind of research designed to derive a weighting scheme based on
responses across countries evaluating a ubiquitous product or service, e.g.
how sweet is Sweet 'n' Low, but that probably doesn't translate very well
into other evaluations.
If you were designing a new survey, perhaps you could use the old
"thermometer" and have them rate measures using 0 (freezing = bad) to 100
(boiling = good). But respondents from Finland would probably give 25
ratings for things they liked while the Greeks used 25 for things they
So we haven't answered the question, but maybe provoked a little thought...
Market Research Manager
CarMax, the Auto Superstore
Sent by: SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
.UGA.EDU> Re: International differences in
Please respond to
On 24 Jun 2005 at 16:52, A P wrote:
> I'm in the process of analyzing data from an international customer
> loyalty/satisfaction study. In the study we ask the respondent to rate
> their satisfaction (on a scale of 1-10) with a wide variety of different
> Part of this analysis will include comparing the results between
> countries. One of the questions I anticipate getting is how does
> culture play into the differences we see.
My experience is that problems can occur in the
translation of scales e.g. translating "slightly agree"
into say Italian. In other words, nuances in word
meanings have different interpretations when translated
back into english.
> Does anyone have any experience/information on how to handle cultural
> differences when analyzing data from rating questions?
Also the way each country uses scales, some people seem
to be better at using the whole of the scale even though
the ends of the scales might be anchored using "strongly
agree" and "strongly agree".
Perhaps a useful way of analying the scales so you can
make cross country comparisons would be to normalise the
scales i.e. subtract the means and divide by the
I wonder what Philip Moore might say, he has some very
sensible things to say about analysing likert sclaes.