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Evaluating change in social and political trust in Europe

Evaluating change in social and political trust in Europe
Evaluating change in social and political trust in Europe

In social science, we typically work with measures that are laden with errors. Theories are generally couched in terms of constructs or phenomena that are unobserved or unobservable but nevertheless have empirical implications. It is these unobservable indicators that we actually analyze. Hence, an important preliminary task for an analyst is to specify the assumed relationship of observable indicators to the underlying phenomenon that is to be measured. Better still, one can test hypotheses about these relations. The focus of this volume is on cross-cultural methods; this brings with it further complexities for deriving adequate social measurement in that we cannot expect to necessarily see the same empirical patterns of observations across cultures (for instance, on a set of related questionnaire items measuring a single attitude) even where the underlying phenomenon is in fact the same. Absent some resolution of this problem, comparisons of the true differences in, say, attitudes or beliefs across cultures are problematic because of the conflation of such differences as may exist with differences in the ways in which the observable indictors “behave” across the very same cultural boundaries.

45-64
Taylor and Francis
Allum, Nick
849dfc6c-00ce-4383-bb5c-4d67985f5576
Read, Sanna
a26ab020-4465-43bd-9631-7aea2b8f8d94
Sturgis, Patrick
b9f6b40c-50d2-4117-805a-577b501d0b3c
Davidov, Eldad
Schmidt, Peter
Billiet, Jaak
Meuleman, Bart
Allum, Nick
849dfc6c-00ce-4383-bb5c-4d67985f5576
Read, Sanna
a26ab020-4465-43bd-9631-7aea2b8f8d94
Sturgis, Patrick
b9f6b40c-50d2-4117-805a-577b501d0b3c
Davidov, Eldad
Schmidt, Peter
Billiet, Jaak
Meuleman, Bart

Allum, Nick, Read, Sanna and Sturgis, Patrick (2018) Evaluating change in social and political trust in Europe. In, Davidov, Eldad, Schmidt, Peter, Billiet, Jaak and Meuleman, Bart (eds.) Cross-Cultural Analysis: Methods and Applications, 2nd Edition. 2 ed. Taylor and Francis, pp. 45-64. (doi:10.4324/9781315537078).

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

In social science, we typically work with measures that are laden with errors. Theories are generally couched in terms of constructs or phenomena that are unobserved or unobservable but nevertheless have empirical implications. It is these unobservable indicators that we actually analyze. Hence, an important preliminary task for an analyst is to specify the assumed relationship of observable indicators to the underlying phenomenon that is to be measured. Better still, one can test hypotheses about these relations. The focus of this volume is on cross-cultural methods; this brings with it further complexities for deriving adequate social measurement in that we cannot expect to necessarily see the same empirical patterns of observations across cultures (for instance, on a set of related questionnaire items measuring a single attitude) even where the underlying phenomenon is in fact the same. Absent some resolution of this problem, comparisons of the true differences in, say, attitudes or beliefs across cultures are problematic because of the conflation of such differences as may exist with differences in the ways in which the observable indictors “behave” across the very same cultural boundaries.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 31 January 2018
Published date: January 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 420241
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/420241
PURE UUID: 5ace058b-763a-4f13-98b8-0711b1309208
ORCID for Patrick Sturgis: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1180-3493

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Date deposited: 03 May 2018 16:30
Last modified: 29 Jan 2020 17:27

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