Emeritus Professor of Marketing
Cross-Cultural Research; National Tightness-Looseness Culture; Within-Subject Standardization; Acquiescence Bias;
Within-subject standardization is a common practice in cross-cultural research to remove presumed acquiescence bias in the data. However, there is limited understanding of the implications of this procedure, including the potential to amplify and misrepresent the true range of the variable of interest, and to create spurious relationships with other variables.The authors illustrate the problems with this procedure using the Gelfand et al. (2011) national Tightness-Looseness data. The authors advance the opposite-items approach as a better way to identify and correct for acquiescence bias in survey data, and also suggest the Tightness-Looseness index of Uz (2015) as an alternative measure of this particular dimension of national culture.Overall, we need more research with other cross-cultural scales and data to better understand the implications of the popular within-subject standardization procedure for IB theory, pedagogy, practice, and policy.