The Effect of Response Style on Self-Reported Conscientiousness Across 20 Countries

René Mõttus, Jüri Allik, Anu Realo, Jérôme Rossier, Gregory Zecca, Jennifer Ah-Kion, Dénis Amoussou-Yéyé, Martin Bäckström, Rasa Barkauskiene, Oumar Barry, Uma Bhowon, Fredrik Björklund, Aleksandra Bochaver, Konstantin Bochaver, Gideon de Bruin, Helena F. Cabrera, Sylvia Xiaohua Chen, A. Timothy Church, Daouda Dougoumalé Cissé, Donatien DahourouXiaohang Feng, Yanjun Guan, Hyi Sung Hwang, Fazilah Idris, Marcia S. Katigbak, Peter Kuppens, Anna Kwiatkowska, Alfredas Laurinavicius, Khairul Anwar Mastor, David Matsumoto, Rainer Riemann, Joanna Schug, Brian Simpson, Caroline Ng Tseung-Wong, Wendy Johnson

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Rankings of countries on mean levels of self-reported Conscientiousness continue to puzzle researchers. Based on the hypothesis that cross-cultural differences in the tendency to prefer extreme response categories of ordinal rating scales over moderate categories can influence the comparability of self-reports, this study investigated possible effects of response style on the mean levels of self-reported Conscientiousness in 22 samples from 20 countries. Extreme and neutral responding were estimated based on respondents' ratings of 30 hypothetical people described in short vignettes. In the vignette ratings, clear cross-sample differences in extreme and neutral responding emerged. These responding style differences were correlated with mean self-reported Conscientiousness scores. Correcting self-reports for extreme and neutral responding changed sample rankings of Conscientiousness, as well as the predictive validities of these rankings for external criteria. The findings suggest that the puzzling country rankings of self-reported Conscientiousness may to some extent result from differences in response styles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1423-1436
Number of pages14
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Conscientiousness
  • cross-cultural
  • extreme responding
  • personality
  • response style

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'The Effect of Response Style on Self-Reported Conscientiousness Across 20 Countries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this