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Keywords:

  • cross-cultural research;
  • personality scales and inventories;
  • cognitive processes

Abstract

In response to comments by Perugini and Richetin and by Ashton, we discuss the reference-group effect as a potential source of distortion in cross-cultural comparisons and suggest some research designs to test its nature and importance. We argue that laboratory studies of personality are of limited utility in understanding personality questionnaire responses in real life. We summarise evidence in favour of the validity of aggregate personality traits and suggest that more scepticism is needed with regard to the accuracy of national character stereotypes. Published in 2007 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.