In two studies, we examined the shared and unique meaning of acquiescent, extreme,
midpoint, and socially desirable responding in association with the OPQ32, a forced-choice
format personality measure designed to be less affected by these response styles, compared to
personality inventories with Likert scales. Country-level response style indexes were derived
from six waves of the International Social Survey Programme and from a meta-analysis of a
social desirability scale. In the country-level correlational analysis the four response styles
formed a general response style factor which was positively associated with (1) dominance
(vs. submission) in interpersonal relationships, (2) competitive (vs. modest and democratic)
feelings and emotions, and (3) data rational thinking. In a multilevel analysis, age showed a
positive and education a negative effect on the individual-level general response style.
Negative effects of country-level socioeconomic development and individualism and positive
effects of competitiveness and data rational thinking on the individual-level response style
were found. We conclude that country-level response styles are systematically associated
with country personality measured by the OPQ32, suggesting that they can be viewed as having substantive meaning (i.e., culturally influenced response amplification versus
moderation). Implications are discussed.