English title: Some methodological challenges of cross-national social research: conceptual and measurement validity

Author(s): Jaak Billiet - Bart Meuleman - Eldad Davidov -

Language: English

Type: Book chapter

Year: 2015


Chapter 5 by Jaak Billiet, Bart Meuleman, and Eldad Davidov discusses a number of challenges regarding conceptual validity. Multilevel study of the relation between individual value orientations, cultural embeddedness, and attitudes toward immigration (IVCEA) is used as a stepping-stone example. This study characterized by an individual level dependent variable, and a mix of direct and derived measures offers an ideal opportunity to clarify and discuss several challenges to validity. Some validity challenges related to other designs characterized by a higher level dependent variable, are also discussed. The specific character of the borrowed context variable embeddedness in the IVCEA study draws attention to the necessity of equivalent measures at both the lower and the higher level. Billet et al. also emphasize important questions such as a requirement for studies that include mixed measures – across levels direct and derived, the need for a substantive theory, and for arguments concerning the causal mechanisms at the macro level. Other important questions concern the large amount of unexplained residual variance at the country level, i.e. unobserved heterogeneity when the number of potential relevant variables is too high given the small number of cases at the macro level, and the failure to accommodate causal complexity in conventional variable-centred explanatory models.

From page no: 99

To page no: 120

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