Chinese Proverb Scale: Development and validation of an indigenous measure of Chinese traditional values

Shengquan YE*, Ting Kin NG, Erin Yiqing LU, Zewei MA

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to develop and validate an indigenous measure of Chinese traditional values using Chinese proverbs. A sample of 363 Mainland Chinese undergraduates participated in Study 1, in which a 26-item Chinese Proverb Scale (CPS) was developed through factor analysis on an initial pool of 118 Chinese proverbs. Four factors were clearly identified: (a) Diligence, (b) Integrity, (c) Self-Preservation, and (d) Self-Interest. The CPS showed satisfactory convergent validity with personal values (S. H. Schwartz, 1992, Advances In Experimental Social Psychology, San Diego, Academic Press) and social axioms (K. Leung et al., 2002, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 33, p. 286). For incremental validity, the CPS predicted life satisfaction beyond the Big Five personality, personal values, and social axioms. In Study 2, a sample of 239 Mainland Chinese participants completed the CPS across two measurement occasions with an interval of 6 months. Longitudinal structural equation modeling (SEM) revealed the structure of the CPS was robust and invariant over time. In Study 3, a sample of 167 Chinese undergraduates from Hong Kong responded to an adapted version of the CPS. Multigroup SEM showed structural equivalence of the scale across the mainland and Hong Kong samples. The cultural origins of the factors in the CPS and future applications of the scale in various research areas are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-177
Number of pages22
JournalAsian Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number3
Early online date30 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Chinese culture
  • Chinese proverbs
  • scale development
  • traditional values


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