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

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Lufanna C. H. Lai.

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Lai, L.C.H., Cummins, R.A. & Lau, A.L.D. Cross-Cultural Difference in Subjective Wellbeing: Cultural Response Bias as an Explanation. Soc Indic Res 114, 607–619 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-012-0164-z

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Keywords

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