ESRA 2019 Programme at a Glance

World Values Survey: New Research Horizons and Methodological Challenges 1

Session Organisers Dr Keseniya Kizilova (Head of the Secretariat, World Values Survey Association)
Professor Christian Haerpfer (President, World Values Survey Association)
TimeFriday 19th July, 09:00 - 10:30
Room D32

The World Values Survey (WVS) is one of the world's largest and longest time-series global social research programs. WVS studies changing values and their impact on social and political life. In 1981-2018, the WVS has carried out representative national surveys in over 110 countries containing 92% of the world’s population. Work on analysing this data has been invaluable for a global network of scholars and international development agencies, including the World Bank, the UNDP, the WHO, regional development banks etc.
WVS wave 7 constitutes the next round of the program. Around 100 000 respondents in over 70 world countries will be interviewed in the course of 2017-2019 on a great scope of issues, including social values, attitudes & stereotypes; societal well-being; social capital, trust and organizational membership; economic values; corruption; migration; post-materialist index; science & technology; religious values; security; ethical values & norms; political interest and political participation; political culture and political regimes. New survey findings on these and other topics will be presented within this panel.
The ambition of the WVS-7 survey round includes testing a number of new survey items belonging both to the WVS research agenda (new forms of political participation, attitudes towards migration, corruption, security etc.) as well as designed to measure the Sustainable Development Goals indicators such as inclusive and responsive decision-making. Results of this pilot in different national and cultural contexts and conclusions on the reliability and validity of the new items will be presented in the panel.
In wave 7 WVS continues extending its geographical coverage and includes countries lacking reliable statistical and census information (i.e. Lebanon or the UAE). National teams in these countries elaborated their own methodological approaches to build national representative samples. WVS scholars will share their sample design techniques within the frame of this panel.
WVS-7 survey round is also innovative in application of mix-mode survey methods, combining online panels, face-to-face interviews and telephone surveys. Panel will feature presentations comparing findings collected in parallel via different survey methods in the same countries allowing to estimate the reliability of mixed-mode surveys as well as the challenges and prospects of methods combination.
We invite submissions dealing both with the analysis of WVS 1-7 waves data and methodological aspects of the WVS surveys implementation. We welcome submissions from both members of the WVS network and independent scholars.

Keywords: World Values Survey, comparative, cross-sectional, cross-cultural, mix-mode methods, survey technique, survey methodology

Individual, Situational, and Country-Level Determinants of Acquiescent Responding – An Analysis Based on the World Value Survey

Professor Beatrice Rammstedt (GESIS - Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences ) - Presenting Author
Dr Clemens Lechner (GESIS - Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences )
Ms Melanie Partsch (GESIS - Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences )
Professor Daniel Danner (University of Applied Labour Studies (UALS))

Acquiescence (“yea-saying”) can seriously harm the validity of self-report questionnaire data. Toward a better understanding of why some individuals and groups acquiesce more strongly than others do, we developed and tested a unified conceptual framework of acquiescent responding. Our framework holds that acquiescent responding is a joint function of respondent characteristics (e.g., age, education, values), situational or survey characteristics (e.g., interview privacy, respondents’ interest), and cultural characteristics (e.g., social norms, economic development). Moreover, the framework specifies two main mechanisms through which these characteristics relate to acquiescence: deferential communication styles and cognitive processing capacities.
Multilevel analyses using data from 60 heterogeneous countries (N = 90,347) from the World Values Survey (WVS) lent support to our framework’s main tenets. Acquiescence was higher among respondents with a higher age (>55 years), lower education, stronger deference values (i.e., conformity and tradition), and, unexpectedly, male gender. Interview privacy corresponded to lower acquiescence, but this association was small and vanished after including individual respondent characteristics. Unexpectedly, interviewee’s interest in the interview related to higher, not lower, acquiescence. Finally, acquiescence was considerably higher among interviewees from countries with stronger deference norms. We discuss theoretical and practical implications of these findings and discuss how our framework can guide future inquiries into acquiescent responding.

Values and Social Capital: Cohort Trends in Russia, Poland and Sweden

Miss Anna Almakaeva (Higher School of Economics) - Presenting Author
Miss Evgeniya Mitrokhina (Higher School of Economics)

Putnam defines social capital as a combination of generalized trust, networks and pro-social norms facilitating mutual cooperation (Putnam, 2001). There is wide evidence on its antecedents but the role of human values has been underinvestigated. At the same time, values as desirable goals and principles which guide human behavior (Schwartz & Bilsky, 1987) may have a great impact on social capital. Indeed, several papers demonstrate that postmaterialist values amplify the level of generalized trust and civic activity (Rothstein & Uslaner, 2005; Christian Welzel & Deutsch, 2012). However, these studies used cross-sectional design and focused on general influence of values. We overcome these limitations incorporating cohort time trends provided by all rounds of the WVS in Russia, Poland and Sweden. Comparative approach allows to test how different macro-level setting affects social capital. From this point of view, Russia is a unique case to trace the impact of harsh socio-economic transformations. Poland is a former communist country which successfully integrated into European community. Sweden - one of the few countries with high level of social capital - serves as a benchmark.

Our preliminary analysis demonstrates that time and cohort value trends have similar patterns with trust only in Sweden, but not in Russia and Poland. Probably, generalized trust experienced deeper influence of crisis and has been recovering more slowly than values. Signing petitions does not match value and trust trends as well. The most surprising result is relations between values and pro-social norms measured through justification of bribe taking, cheating of taxes, claiming illegal government benefits and avoiding fare on public transport. They showed unrelated trends in Sweden and negatively correlated trends in Russia. Only Poland partly supports support the idea that posmaterialist values boost pro-social norms. It demonstrated mutual positive tendencies on values, cheating taxes and bribe-taking. These conclusions force seeking alternative factors which shape time and cohort differences

Trust and Media Consumption in Democratic and Non-Democratic Regimes: The World Values Survey Results

Mrs Olesya Volchenko (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
Dr Anna Shirokanova (National Research University Higher School of Economics) - Presenting Author

Television has been blamed for decreasing social trust due to time replacement and the content of news reports. Internet has lately taken over as another major source of information. As a many-to-many communication channel, the Internet helps create and maintain connections between individuals. However, due to the online echo chamber effect, ‘information bubbles’ appear that reinforce pre-existing stereotypes and lead to the decay of social trust. Previous research has scrutinized the relationship between the major source of news for individuals and their level of generalized trust. We connect this perspective to the debate on whether democracy facilitates trust due to its institutions. We focus specifically on the link between the individual’s major news source and generalized trust depending on the political regime in the country. We use the World Values Survey (2011-2014) containing individual-level data on the sources of news and levels of trust in fifty-three countries around the world. We introduce both country-level and individual-level predictors of trust in order to test whether and how political regimes moderate the relationship between the major news source and generalized trust for those who consume news from television and/or the Internet. Preliminary results show that a non-democratic setting may decrease social trust both for those who prefer television and for those who prefer online news. We discuss this result critically within the discussion on trust and the Internet use as compared to traditional television news. This debate is important given the growing Internet penetration and political change in the developing countries and the debate on post-truth news in developed societies.

Sources of Political Regime Support: New Comparative Evidence from the World Values Survey

Dr Kseniya Kizilova (World Values Survey Association) - Presenting Author
Professor Christian Haerpfer (World Values Survey Association)

The resilience of political regimes, especially democracy, depends in good part on popular support. Analysts conceive and measure the sources of mass support for political regimes from various angles. Some analysts emphasize a society's basic political and cultural values; others draw attention to current citizen evaluations of regime performance; and still others study actual mass political behaviour. This paper will compare and contrast these different approaches with a view to deepening our understanding of political regime support. We are especially interested in exploring whether prevailing beliefs, attitudes and participation together form a coherent or contradictory set of resources for the consolidation of democracy. This paper examines also the current trends of popular support for democracy and alternative forms of political governance aiming to contribute to the ongoing debate on the crisis or democratic backlash.
Our theoretical framework is based on the concept of political support by Easton (1975) and its further development by Norris (1999; 2011), Klingemann (1999) and Dalton (2004). This conceptual lineage overlaps with the distinction between “realist” and “idealist” forms of political support by Rose, Mishler and Haerpfer (1998), as well as the distinction between “intrinsic” and “instrumental” support by Bratton and Matthes (2002) and Inglehart and Welzel (2005). The article therefore analyses support for democracy as a set of “idealist” principles as well as the “realist” support for the current regime functioning in the country. The paper considers also popular support for nondemocratic regimes.
Basing on the 30-years trends (WVS data for the period of 1981-2019 for 110 countries) of the dynamic of political support in Europe, Asia, Africa, Arab World and the Americas the paper will conclude whether the concept of “backsliding” is relevant to describe the present trends and whether the dynamics of popular support for democracy is universal or differs between the world regions.