Cognitive interviewing and factor-analytic techniques: a mixed method approach to validity of survey items measuring national identity

Cognitive interviewing and factor-analytic techniques: a mixed method approach to validity of... This paper explores the possibilities of method triangulation between two methodological approaches for assessing the validity performance of survey items: cognitive interviewing and factor analytic techniques. Although their means of approaching validity differ, both methods attempt to prove whether a measure corresponds to a theoretical (latent) concept (e.g. patriotism vs. nationalism), thus both are concerned with the question, whether an indicator measures what it is supposed to measure. Based on two representative samples for Austria [data gathered within the framework of the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) on National Identity in 1995 and 2003] and 18 cognitive interviews conducted between 2003 and 2005, the paper shows the considerable advantages of using a multi-method approach for ensuring the quality of survey items. On the one hand, we apply exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis in order to identify poorly performing indicators with regard to validity and reliability. On the other hand, the analysis of the cognitive interviews reveals the substantial sources of response error. Results show that to a large extent, respondents do not understand the items that have been defined to measure national identification and related concepts in Austria the way intended by the drafting group of this ISSP Module, a fact that has considerable implications on the scales’ predictive power. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quality & Quantity Springer Journals

Cognitive interviewing and factor-analytic techniques: a mixed method approach to validity of survey items measuring national identity

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Social Sciences; Methodology of the Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general
ISSN
0033-5177
eISSN
1573-7845
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11135-009-9285-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper explores the possibilities of method triangulation between two methodological approaches for assessing the validity performance of survey items: cognitive interviewing and factor analytic techniques. Although their means of approaching validity differ, both methods attempt to prove whether a measure corresponds to a theoretical (latent) concept (e.g. patriotism vs. nationalism), thus both are concerned with the question, whether an indicator measures what it is supposed to measure. Based on two representative samples for Austria [data gathered within the framework of the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) on National Identity in 1995 and 2003] and 18 cognitive interviews conducted between 2003 and 2005, the paper shows the considerable advantages of using a multi-method approach for ensuring the quality of survey items. On the one hand, we apply exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis in order to identify poorly performing indicators with regard to validity and reliability. On the other hand, the analysis of the cognitive interviews reveals the substantial sources of response error. Results show that to a large extent, respondents do not understand the items that have been defined to measure national identification and related concepts in Austria the way intended by the drafting group of this ISSP Module, a fact that has considerable implications on the scales’ predictive power.

Journal

Quality & QuantitySpringer Journals

Published: Dec 18, 2009

References

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