Social Indicators Research

, Volume 114, Issue 2, pp 607–619 | Cite as

Cross-Cultural Difference in Subjective Wellbeing: Cultural Response Bias as an Explanation

  • Lufanna C. H. LaiEmail author
  • Robert A. Cummins
  • Anna L. D. Lau


This study investigates whether the Australian-Chinese differences in subjective wellbeing (SWB) can be attributed to cultural response bias (CRB) caused by the influence of Chinese culture. Four samples are compared: Australians, first generation Chinese immigrants, second generation Chinese immigrants, and Hong Kong Chinese. It is hypothesized that the effects of CRB on means scores and variance will be the highest for Hong Kong Chinese, followed by Australian Chinese immigrants and second generation, and the lowest for Australians. These predictions were generally supported. Income is used as a covariate to test whether the predicted pattern of results remain unchanged. The result was affirmative. CRB is thus verified as contributing to the SWB difference between the Australians and Hong Kong Chinese. The implications of these findings are discussed.


Cultural response bias Subjective wellbeing Personal wellbeing index Life domains Life satisfaction as a whole 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lufanna C. H. Lai
    • 1
    Email author
  • Robert A. Cummins
    • 2
  • Anna L. D. Lau
    • 2
  1. 1.Lingnan Institute of Further EducationLingnan UniversityTuen MunHong Kong
  2. 2.School of PsychologyDeakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia

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