English title: Contructing the Questionnaire: the Challenges of Measuring Attitudes toward Democracy across Europe

Author(s): Lizzy Winstone - Sally Widdop - Rory Fitzgerald -

Language: English

Type: Book chapter

Year: 2016

Abstract

This chapter explores the challenges of designing questions to measure attitudes towards democracy in a cross-national survey. The European Social Survey (ESS) has often included topics that are not generally part of the day-to-day discourse of many respondents, such as ageism or economic morality. However, in many ways a module focused on respondents’ understandings and evaluations of democracy was particularly challenging to include since the detail of the topic was unlikely to be something that many potential respondents would have considered in detail. This chapter addresses the specific challenges of designing questions measuring attitudes to democracy, in particular decisions about the concepts to include or exclude, social desirability, and response formats. This chapter explores the decision-making during the design process, the need to strike a balance between theoretical measurement aims and what is practical to measure in a general social survey, as well as the attempt to strike a balance between different forms of measurement error.

From page no: 21

To page no: 39

Anthology: How Europeans View and Evaluate Democracy