Measurement invariance of the moral vitalism scale across 28 cultural groups

Maksim RUDNEV*, Christin-Melanie VAUCLAIR, Samira AMINIHAJIBASHI, Maja BECKER, Michal BILEWICZ, José Luis Castellanos GUEVARA, Emma COLLIER-BAKER, Carla CRESPO, Paul EASTWICK, Ronald FISCHER, Malte FRIESE, Angel GOMEZ, Valeschka GUERRA, Katja HANKE, Nic HOOPER, Li-li HUANG, Minoru KARASAWA, Peter KUPPENS, Steve LOUGHNAN, Müjde PEKERCesar PELAY, Afroditi PINA, Marianna SACHKOVA, Tamar SAGUY, Junqi SHI, Mia SILFVER-KUHALAMPI, Florencia SORTHEIX, William SWANN, Jennifer Yuk Yue TONG, Wai Lan Victoria YEUNG, Brock BASTIAN

*Corresponding author for this work

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

3 Citations (Scopus)


Moral vitalism refers to a tendency to view good and evil as actual forces that can influence people and events. The Moral Vitalism Scale had been designed to assess moral vitalism in a brief survey form. Previous studies established the reliability and validity of the scale in US-American and Australian samples. In this study, the cross-cultural comparability of the scale was tested across 28 different cultural groups worldwide through measurement invariance tests. A series of exact invariance tests marginally supported partial metric invariance, however, an approximate invariance approach provided evidence of partial scalar invariance for a 5-item measure. The established level of measurement invariance allows for comparisons of latent means across cultures. We conclude that the brief measure of moral vitalism is invariant across 28 cultures and can be used to estimate levels of moral vitalism with the same precision across very different cultural settings.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0233989
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work of the first author (MR) is an output of a research project implemented as part of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE University). The work of the second author (CMV) was supported by the Funda??o para a Ci?ncia e a Tecnologia; IF/00346/2014. The work of BB and WBS was supported by the Australian Research Council's Discovery Projects funding scheme (Brock Bastian, Paul Bain, & William B. Swann Jr.: DP110102632). Jos? Luis Castellanos Guevara was affiliated with a commercial institution "ConSol" and received support in the form of salary from "ConSol". The funders provided support in the form of salaries for the mentioned, but did not have any additional role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


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