Does Vanity Describe Other Cultures?: A Cross Cultural Examination of the Vanity Scale

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Journal of Consumer Affairs


Vanity is a psychological construct that describes a person's excessive concern with physical appearance or achievement. A scale, recently developed to measure this construct, has been psychometrically validated using data from U.S. respondents. The goal of this paper is to determine if this scale can be used cross-culturally. If the scale has cross-cultural applicability, it can be used as a counseling device to guide and alert individuals to certain tendencies. The scale also can be used to track foreign cultures as they adopt a consumerism ethos more aligned to Western consumer culture. Based on data from 475 young adults in China, India, New Zealand, and the U.S., the scale was found to have similar dimensionality and factor structure, internal consistency, discriminant validity, and metric invariance. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.


Journal of Consumer Affairs, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 180–199 (Summer, 2001). DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-6606.2001.tb00108.x