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Cultural difference in dialectical response style : "how much yes is in your yes?" Hamamura, Takeshi

Abstract

Cross-cultural variation in response style has been documented by a large body of evidence. The current research follows the perspective that culture importantly influences response style. We have focused on East Asian dialectical thinking, or tendency to tolerate psychological contradiction. In recent years, number of studies have shown dialectical nature of East Asian's cognition, self-concept, well-being, and affect. In addition, these fascinating studies have also shed lights onto dialectical thinkers' response style. In study 1, we investigated and captured the dialectical response style of Japanese and Asian-Canadians in the domains of self-esteem, personality and attitudes, hi three different domains, Japanese and Asian-Canadians responded to positive and reverse items in a less converging manner compared to European-Canadians. Study 2 introduced differential item functioning (DIE) analyses to the study of dialectical response style. We have found that even after individuals are matched on their positive self-esteem, cultural differences in negative self-esteem persist. Conversely, even when negative self-esteem is matched on, cultural differences in positive self-esteem persist. Implications of this research to the use of reverse items in cross-cultural survey research, psychometrics, as well as adding a cautionary note about the validity of cross-cultural survey research are discussed.

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