JOURNAL OF MARKETING DEVELOPMENT AND COMPETITIVENESS
A Cross National Study of Topic Sensitivity:
Implications for Web-Based Surveys
Author(s): Gerald Albaum, Catherine A. Roster, Scott M. Smith
Citation: Gerald Albaum, Catherine A. Roster, Scott M. Smith, (2012) "A Cross National Study of Topic Sensitivity: Implications for Web-Based Surveys," Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness, Vol. 6, Iss. 5, pp. 71 - 82
Article Type: Research paper
Publisher: North American Business Press
Topic sensitivity can have a direct bearing on Web survey design choices such as whether to use forced
answering and whether to offer non-substantive response options, like “prefer not to answer.”
Respondents from six diverse nations/cultures rated sensitivity of a list of 11 topics that might be the focus
of a marketing research study. Differences among the cultural sub-samples were found for 9 of 11 topics.
Findings indicate that perceived sensitivity of topics is emic- rather than etic-bound, which implies that
cross-national researchers should not assume generalizability of topic sensitivity.