Visual Analogue Scales in Cross Cultural Web Surveys
Frederik Funke, Ulf-Dietrich Reips, & Randall K. Thomas

Paper presented at the 7th international conference of the RC-33 (Research Comittee 33 "Logic and Methodology") of the International Sociological Association (ISA), Neapel (I).

We conducted two Web experiments to examine the quality of data from visual analogue scales (VAS) and to investigate if the scales are used consistently across different cultural areas.
In the first study, the sample consisted of German students (n = 355). The participants were asked to repeatedly allocate 13 different percentages on a VAS (the ends were labelled with 0% respectively 100%). We analyzed the precision by comparing target values and actual values across scales with different lengths. Furthermore, we checked for equidistance by comparing numerical intervals to the corresponding intervals on the VAS. Result: There is strong evidence that data from VAS are on the level of an interval scale (see Reips & Funke, in press).
This leads to another research question: Can the findings from Study 1 be generalized beyond well-educated Germans?
In a second experiment, we replicated Study 1 with a US sample (n = 380) consisting of members of a commercial online access pool representing a more diverse population from another cultural area.
The combination of both studies allowed us to compare ratings by respondents with different cultural backgrounds (US vs. German sample). Furthermore, we compared scale use by respondents with different education, age and state of residence within the US sample.