An examination of the wording effect in the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale among culturally Chinese people.J Soc Psychol. 2008 Oct; 148(5):535-51.JS
Previous psychometric studies of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES; 1965) have shown that items with positive and negative words tend to form 2 factors instead of a single factor for global self-esteem. Recent studies using confirmatory factor analysis have indicated that there is an additional method effect behind negatively worded items. However, researchers conducted these studies using Western participants. Because J. L. Farh and B. S. Cheng (1997) suggested that culturally Chinese people tend to exhibit a modesty bias in self-evaluation, especially on positively worded items, researchers may infer that a wording effect of positively worded items would be evident for culturally Chinese people. The author examined the wording effect in the RSES for culturally Chinese people by comparing different confirmatory factor models. The author analyzed data from 2 independent samples of students at the National Taiwan University (ns = 393, 441) and a national sample of juniors recruited from 140 universities and colleges in Taiwan in 2004 (n = 28,862). Results showed that in addition to a global factor for self-esteem, method effects of positively and negatively worded items should also be specified for a model fitting culturally Chinese people.