Large institutes and organizations like the World Health Organization collect data on both objective and subjective Quality of Life (QOL) (Ingle hardt, 2004, Cummins et al., 2003). Recently, several researchers have criticized intercultural comparison of such data because of probable cultural bias in the responses to self-rating scales. Our own research with personnel and students at universities in Iran and Belgium and a large sample ogf patients in Germany indicate that measures obtained with self-anchoring scales may be less susceptible to cultural differences between populations.
The present research wishes to investigate this further by using a single protocol ( a survey that is carefully translated into the mother tongue of the participations) in a sample of populations that differ in culture, but that do not differ significantly in education (controlled by restricting the survey to students and staff of universities and institutes of higher education). In a first phase, this research will include several Muslim countries (Iran, Algeria, Syria) and a Belgian sample including Muslim. After an initial phase, it is expected that this research will be broadened to include other countries and cultures. Contacts are already established with experienced groups in Ghana, Rwanda and South Africa.