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Evaluating change in social and political trust in Europe

Allum, Nick, Read, Sanna and Sturgis, Patrick ORCID: 0000-0003-1180-3493 (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. European Association of Methodology Series. Routledge, 45 - 64. ISBN 9781138670648

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Identification Number: 10.4324/9781315537078-2


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.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2019 11:29
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:37

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