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When the unit of the scale on which we express ourselves is widely used, for example, time in minutes, between-person comparisons are most likely valid.

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When time is, however, expressed in subjective labels, for example, very long, long, not so long, short, it is less clear whether between-person comparisons are valid; what a short time is for one person might be not so long for another. Saris showed for different topics that people vary in using these scales.

For measures to be meaningfully comparable between groups of persons, they should be equivalent Meredith, Measurement equivalence is tested with measurement invariance tests. The standard procedure tests between-group constraints on the factor model using multiple group structural equation modeling SEM analysis Meredith, However, our approach is different and has two unique aspects. Second, we use a different approach to evaluate invariance across groups.

This new approach to model evaluation is an answer to two issues that make testing multigroup SEM models complex. Consistent with this view, several cross-cultural studies have shown that autonomous goal striving is equally important for well-being across cultures e. For example, among over 1, people from Belgium, China, the USA, and Peru, satisfaction of autonomy needs predicted well-being, whereas frustration of autonomy needs predicted psychological problems Chen et al.

Cross-cultural similarity is also evident in other processes e. In addition to studies drawing on SDT, the cross-cultural importance of autonomy is further supported by research on motive congruence. When people autonomously choose their goals, their goals should be congruent with their implicit needs Baumann et al.

To these ends, several studies have shown that the pursuit of motive-congruent goals is associated with greater well-being across both Western and non-Western cultures for a review, see Hofer and Busch, Because motive congruence and autonomous goal striving are characteristic of action- rather than state-oriented individuals, a disposition toward action orientation should have similar consequences across different cultural contexts. We designed the present study to empirically examine the association between action orientation and self-regulatory outcomes in Western and Eastern cultures.

Consequently, we expected to find mostly cross-cultural continuity in the present study, consistent with findings on cross-cultural continuity in the value of autonomous self-regulation e. Specifically, the present study examined university undergraduates from Germany, New Zealand, and Bangladesh. To our knowledge, no study to date has investigated the effects of action orientation in New Zealand and Bangladesh. In the selection of the three nationalities, we followed the recommendations by Berry et al. Specifically, Germany and New Zealand are both Western cultures that share many cultural values and have a common linguistic background i.

Yet, the countries differ in dimensions relevant for cross-cultural psychology e. In all three cultural samples, we measured individual differences in action orientation, anxious motive enactment, and subjective well-being. We predicted that action orientation would be associated with greater well-being H 1 and less anxious motive enactment H 2. Furthermore, we predicted that variations in anxious motive enactment would mediate the relationship between action orientation and well-being H 3. Finally, we predicted that the link from action orientation through less anxious motive enactment to greater well-being would generalize across our participants from Germany, New Zealand, and Bangladesh H 4.

The samples consisted of undergraduate students of psychology. Altogether, participants completed the questionnaires measuring action vs. Afterwards, participants answered questions regarding demographic information. The majority of students came from middle-class families Taken together, the different cultural samples shared a similar socioeconomic and educational background e. The German sample took part in a German version of the study and the sample from New Zealand in an English version of the study.

All questionnaires had been used in several studies before in the respective languages. For the survey material used with the Bangladesh sample, two independent researchers translated all materials from English into Bengali and back into English until they reached full agreement over the translations.

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The validity of the ACS has been supported by over published studies for comprehensive reviews, see Kuhl and Beckmann, ; Diefendorff et al. The ACS has two main subscales, each consisting of 12 items. The failure— or threat —related subscale measures action vs. In the present study, our theoretical focus was on action vs. Moreover, in preliminary statistical analyses, we found that failure- and decision-related action vs. Therefore, we combined the two subscales into one scale that measures general action vs.

For each item, participants are presented an affectively charged event e. The number of action-oriented responses was summed so that the total score could range from 0 to 24, with lower scores indicating lower action orientation i. In contrast to the ACS items, MET items relate to specific motive themes and do not systematically start with a negative or frustrating event. Anxious motive enactment was calculated as the sum of the 12 items.

As such, the total score could range from 12 to Although the items refer to different content domains i. The items were summed to form a single measure of well-being that could range from 0 to To test for significant differences in the mean levels of our main study variables between the three cultural samples, we conducted a multivariate analysis of variance MANOVA with culture as an independent variable and action orientation, anxious motive enactment, well-being, and age as dependent variables.

Additionally, compared to the German, but not the Bangladeshi, sample, the New Zealand sample scored lower in well-being. The action orientation scale ranges from 0 to 24, anxious motive enactment from 12 to 48, and well-being from 0 to Consistent with H 1 and H 2, action orientation correlated positively with well-being, but negatively with anxious motive enactment, across all three samples. Furthermore, in all samples, less anxious motive enactment was significantly associated with greater well-being.

Correlations of the measured variables within the total sample upper half: above the diagonal , the German sample upper half: below the diagonal , the New Zealand sample lower half: above the diagonal , and the Bangladeshi sample lower half: below the diagonal. In order to identify possible group-dependent sources of non-invariance and to test whether the concepts measured have the same meaning in the national samples included in our study, we conducted confirmatory factor analyses CFA for each instrument in each country and, as a multigroup confirmatory factor analysis MGCFA , across all countries Lee et al.

In the MGCFA, when the measurement models across groups have the same factor structure, the scales are configurally invariant Steenkamp and Baumgartner, ; Lee et al. Additionally, metric factor loading invariance is obtained if the factor loadings of the items on the underlying construct they are supposed to measure are invariant across countries.

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Notably, metric invariance is sufficient for comparisons that are based on difference scores, such as regression coefficients or correlational relationships across cultures. Finally, scalar invariance i. Because the goal of the present study was to compare relations rather than means between the countries, demonstrating metric invariance i. As shown here, the measurement of well-being demonstrated metric invariance i. For the remaining two measurement models, the change in CFI exceeded the criteria established by Cheung and Rensvold. Our main interest was not in mean-level differences between the cultural samples, but rather, in the underlying functional relationships between our study variables.

Therefore, we standardized all variables within each cultural group and tested if anxious motive enactment mediates the relationship between action orientation and well-being. In pursuing these analyses, we controlled for participants' age and gender. Consistent with H2, action orientation was associated with less anxious motive enactment.

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Consistent with H1, action orientation was associated with greater well-being. Furthermore, anxious motive enactment was associated with lower well-being. Mediation model with the direct effect of action vs. To examine whether a particular domain of anxious motive enactment was particularly responsible for mediating the relationship between action orientation and well-being, we conducted an additional mediation analysis in which anxious enactment of achievement, affiliation, and power motives were entered simultaneously as three independent mediators.

Specifically, whereas the specific indirect effect of action orientation on well-being through less anxious enactment of power motives was significant, the remaining two specific indirect effects through less anxious enactment of achievement and affiliation motives were non-significant. Additional mediation analyses tested whether similar relationships would emerge in each of the three samples. Consistent with H 4, the global index of anxious motive enactment mediated the link between action orientation and well-being in all three countries.

Thus, there was cross-cultural convergence in the functional meaning of action orientation. In Germany, New Zealand, and Bangladesh, action orientation was associated with less anxious motive enactment and, in turn, greater well-being. Furthermore, the total indirect effect from action orientation on well-being through less anxious motive enactment was significant across samples. There were, however, some cultural variations in which particular motive s mediated the link between action orientation and well-being.

In the German sample, less anxious enactment of power and achievement motives mediated the relationship between action orientation and well-being, but not less anxious enactment of affiliation motives i. In the New Zealand sample, only less anxious enactment of power motives mediated the relationship between action orientation and well-being. In the Bangladeshi sample, less anxious motive enactment in one domain alone did not mediate the relationship between action orientation and well-being.

Taken together, not all three motive domains mediated the link between action orientation and well-being for all cultural samples. However, these observed cultural variations did not correspond to a simple East-West distinction.

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Accordingly, it is likely that at least some of these cultural variations were due to chance. Overall, the results support the mediating role of motive enactment strategies in the relationship between action orientation and well-being in different motive domains in all three samples. Finally, we tested the equivalent structures of the relationships between action orientation, anxious motive enactment, and well-being, first in each sample, and then in a multi-group structural equation model SEM.

In the SEM analyses, the measurement models for action orientation, anxious motive enactment, and well-being were the same as those used in the cross-cultural measurement equivalence analyses. To examine the consistency of our findings across countries, we specified two models: The first model was an unconstrained model in which no equality constraints were imposed on the data across samples.

This model also allowed the exogenous variables to correlate with each other.

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The second model constrained the paths between our focal variables to be equal in all three samples. Structural equivalence of the mediation model across our three groups would be supported if the addition of these equality constraints to the unconstrained model do not produce a significant decrease in model fit.

In our data, only the CFI departed from these standard criteria for acceptable model fit. However, scholars note that the fit indices should be interpreted holistically. Moreover, the aim of these analyses was to see if our mediational model differed across countries. Yet, given that at least two items of one latent construct i. In other words, partial equivalence requires invariance of some, but not all, factor loadings.

Modification indices that provide information about model changes when some parameters are not held equal across sample groups showed that freely estimating some factor loadings one item of the ACS in the New Zealand sample and three items of the anxious motive enactment scale of the MET —rather than constraining them to equality across sample groups—substantially improved the model. Again, the fit-indices showed a satisfactory match of the structural weights model with the data.

As before, only the CFI departed from these standard criteria for acceptable model fit. Taken together, the findings show that the model was largely consistent across all three cultural samples. In the present research, we examined the association between action vs. Across all three cross-cultural samples, action orientation was positively associated with less anxious motive enactment and greater well-being. Moreover, the relationship between action orientation and well-being was mediated by less anxious enactment of motives affiliation, achievement, and power across all three cultures.

Taken together, these findings provide the strongest and most systematic evidence to date for the cross-cultural generalizability of the effects of action vs. The present findings inform recent debates about cultural variations in the valuation of independence. According to an influential perspective on cross-cultural research, independence is a value that is widely celebrated in the West, but not in the East Markus and Kitayama, A meta-analytic review of cross-cultural psychological research, however, found no evidence of a straightforward East-West distinction in people's self-conceptions Oyserman et al.

The present findings are consistent with the latter meta-analytic findings given that our sample from Bangladesh did not describe themselves in less action-oriented terms than did our samples from Germany and New Zealand. Of course, action orientation is not the same as independence. Whereas, independence relates to the content of self-conceptions, action orientation focuses on self-regulatory processes. Therefore, in line with the process nature of action orientation, we were especially interested in the functional meaning of action orientation across cultures rather than in mean level differences between cultures.

In the present research, action orientation correlated with anxious motive enactment and well-being similarly across our one Eastern and two Western samples. Irrespective of participants' national origins, our action-oriented participants enacted social motives less anxiously and, in turn, had greater well-being compared to our state-oriented participants. These findings are consistent with prior studies in non-Western countries showing equivalent effects of action orientation as in Western countries Bagozzi et al. The available evidence thus points to the following conclusion: the meaning of action vs.

In addition to identifying important cross-cultural similarities, we found some potential differences between cultures. When analyzing the mediating role of anxious motive enactment separately for the three motive themes, results varied across cultures. In Germany, anxious enactment of power and achievement motives were significant mediators between action orientation and well-being.

In contrast, only anxious enactment of power mediated this association within the New Zealand sample, and no single motive domain uniquely mediated the association between action orientation and well-being in Bangladesh. One possible explanation for these cultural differences is that shorter subscales are less reliable.

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Alternatively, power motives and their non-anxious enactment may be especially important in Western cultures in which hierarchies are at least perceived to be more permeable. In Bangladesh, in contrast, hierarchies are perceived to be rather steep and fixed in Bangladesh Hofstede and Hofstede, Therefore, specific power motives may not be more important for well-being than other motives. In the present study, we found no evidence that state-oriented people in an Eastern culture are better able to overcome their volitional problems, at least no more so than state-oriented people in Western cultures.

This is not to say, however, that state-oriented people are beyond redemption. Techniques are demonstrated through the use of applications that employ cross-national data sets such as the latest European Social Survey. With an emphasis on the generalized latent variable approach, internationally prominent researchers from a variety of fields explain how the methods work, how to apply them, and how they relate to other methods presented in the book. Syntax and graphical and verbal explanations of the techniques are included. Online resources, available at www. The second edition includes six new chapters and two revised ones presenting exciting developments in the literature of cross-cultural analysis including topics such as approximate measurement invariance, alignment optimization, sensitivity analyses, a mixed-methods approach to test for measurement invariance, and a multilevel structural equation modeling approach to explain noninvariance.

This book is intended for researchers, practitioners, and advanced students interested in cross-cultural research. Because the applications span a variety of disciplines, the book will appeal to researchers and students in: psychology, political science, sociology, education, marketing and economics, geography, criminology, psychometrics, epidemiology, and public health, as well as those interested in methodology.

It is also appropriate for an advanced methods course in cross-cultural analysis.