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A key aim of the ESS has always been to implement high quality standards in its methodology.

Methodology Overview

A key aim of the ESS has always been to implement high quality standards in its methodology and to improve standards in the field of cross-national surveys more generally.

Measuring attitudes cross-nationally has challenges that go beyond those of surveys conducted in a single country or language. The methods used on the ESS are outlined in the Survey Specification, which all countries are required to adhere to when conducting the ESS in their country.

Additional information about the ESS methodology and methodological research can be found in the sub-sections on the left-hand side menu, also accessible from the flowchart below.

ESS Methodology

Methodological Research

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Interviewer Behaviour and Interviewer Effects

Interviewers are a key part in data collection for face-to-face surveys.

Learn more about interviewer behaviour
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Minimising Nonresponse Bias

High response rates are usually considered as an indicator of good survey quality. In the ESS Specification, a minimum target response rate of 70% in each country has been outlined.

Learn more about Minimising Nonresponse Bias
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Modes of Data Collection

The ESS has always investigated important methodological issues concerning survey data quality in a cross-national context.

Lear more about Data Collection
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Correction for Measurement Error

When information about the reliability and validity of measurements is available, it is possible to apply statistical techniques to correct for measurement error. 

Learn more about Correction for Measurement Error
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Translation Procedures

Members of the ESS Translation Team are carrying out translation-related research in a number of fields.

Learn more about Translation Procedures
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Development of Indicators

One of the original aims of the European Social Survey was ‘to introduce soundly-based indicators of national progress, based on citizens' perceptions and judgements of key aspects of their societies’.

Learn more about Development of Indicators

Related content

ESS documents on this topic

(including all ESS methodological documents for this round)