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Abstract

This study investigated which age measures, independent or interdependent, were better for cross-cultural consumer research. Specifically, it assessed the fit between the “actual” and “ideal” self-concept model within the framework of self-construal theory by examining the actual and ideal self-attributed age identity across South Korea (n = 480), China (n = 207), and France (n = 338) using both independent and interdependent age identity scales. Multivariate analyses revealed differences for individuated self-schemata across the three countries for actual and ideal age self-construal, as well as for actual other-referent interdependent age self-schemata. However, the reverse occurred too: The ideal interdependent ages showed a lack of difference across the three different cultures. Overall, the results indicate that interdependent decade scales are better than independent age scales for cross-cultural consumer behavior studies. Though such scales are more complex, they are easy to translate and to administer, and simple to analyze and to interpret. Evidence also suggests that such scales are reliable and robust across disparate samples in the countries studied. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.