Investigating the relative impact of different sources of measurement non-equivalence in comparative surveys: An illustration with scale format, data collection mode and cross-national variations

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_424A8E8E756E
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Investigating the relative impact of different sources of measurement non-equivalence in comparative surveys: An illustration with scale format, data collection mode and cross-national variations
Journal
Survey Research Methods
Author(s)
Roberts Caroline, Sarrasin Oriane, Ernst Stähli Michèle
Publication state
In Press
Language
english
Abstract
Different factors are known to affect the comparability of multinational, multicultural and multiregional (‘3MC’) survey data. These include factors relevant to the design of the questionnaire in different contexts (such as cultural differences in how a concept is understood, inaccurate or approximate translations of concepts, and variant adaptations to question formats). Others include factors relating to the survey design in general and how it is implemented across contexts (such as sample design, choice of mode(s), and contact strategies). While research to date has looked at the effects of these factors on measurement invariance individually, there have been few attempts to compare them directly and assess their relative impact. To illustrate how this can be done, the present paper tests for measurement invariance in a subjective wellbeing measure across scale formats, modes of data collection, and linguistic and cultural contexts. To do so, European Social Survey data from Switzerland, Germany and France were combined, enabling analyses of the effects of naturally present and experimentally induced variations (resulting from the use of variant question formulations and translations, and tests of mode and question wording effects) on data comparability. Overall, we find variant translations and other cross-national variations to be bigger sources of nonequivalence than scale format and mode. The findings are of interest both to survey designers making decisions about optimal resource allocation in the design of 3MC studies, as well as to analysts comparing countries with shared languages and interpreting cross-group differences.
Create date
12/09/2018 11:19
Last modification date
15/01/2020 7:22
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