ESRA 2013 Sessions

Assessing the cross-cultural equivalence of Well-Being approaches Dr Wolfgang Aschauer
Research on Wellbeing has gained enormous importance during the last years. The motivation to build indices starting from simple indicators of happiness and life-satisfaction towards new multidimensional measurements (e.g. The Gross-National Happiness concept emerging from Bhutan, the National Accounts of Wellbeing adopted in the ESS or the new ONS Wellbeing concept of Great Britain) has developed in a climate of realization, that economically-based measures are not fruitful enough to assess the "healthy" state of a society. Despite this boom, also with regard to cross-national research, the analysis of the comparability of Wellbeing approaches still remains in its infancy. It seems to be common in Wellbeing research to take the cross-cultural equivalence of the concept for granted and to neglect the use of statistical tools for equivalence testing. On the other hand following the common rules of thumb (e.g. with MGCFA) meaning to set certain preconditions that the same items must be valid across different nations can be problematic because till now there is no leading theory on Wellbeing and certain components of the construct are culturally sensitive.
Accepting cultural differences and including them in comparative research can be a way out of this dilemma. It seems that locally emerging concepts are often far more valid than approaches with the intent of being universally relevant. Therefore this session highlights the question: How do we best establish comparability under these circumstances and how can we use the strength of existing concepts of Wellbeing for cross-national research?
The session aims at participants who work in the field of Wellbeing research and international comparisons. We welcome speakers who statistically try to assess the cross-national equivalence of Wellbeing approaches or try to develop new conceptual frameworks of Wellbeing which can be applied to cross-national research.


Attitudes: Methodology Ontology Impact 1Dr mark Elliot
What are attitudes? How do we know about them? How should we measure them? How are they related (methodologically and ontologically) to other concepts such values, beliefs and concerns. How are attitudes used in research to explain and describe other phenomena? How is an understanding of attitudes useful for policy makers? These are some of the questions that we hope to cover in this session.

The attitude as an explanatory and descriptive concept has been with us for nearly a century and yet we still know relatively little about what attitudes really are. Originally a subject of psychological investigation they have taken on a research life of their own within quantitative social science. The use of the concept has now spread throughout the Humanities.

Papers will be considered on any topic within the broad heading of "attitude research" including but not limited to:

New approaches to capturing attitudinal data.
Attitude Measurement.
Case based vs. variable based approaches to understanding attitudes.
Attitudes and behaviour change.
Implicit vs. Explicit attitudes.
Substantive research with attitudinal variables as explantories.
Substantive research with attitudinal variables as responses.
APC studies of historical attitude change.
Theoretical work on attitude structure or the relationship between attitudes and other constructs.


Attitudes: Methodology Ontology Impact 2Dr mark Elliot
What are attitudes? How do we know about them? How should we measure them? How are they related (methodologically and ontologically) to other concepts such values, beliefs and concerns. How are attitudes used in research to explain and describe other phenomena? How is an understanding of attitudes useful for policy makers? These are some of the questions that we hope to cover in this session.

The attitude as an explanatory and descriptive concept has been with us for nearly a century and yet we still know relatively little about what attitudes really are. Originally a subject of psychological investigation they have taken on a research life of their own within quantitative social science. The use of the concept has now spread throughout the Humanities.

Papers will be considered on any topic within the broad heading of "attitude research" including but not limited to:

New approaches to capturing attitudinal data.
Attitude Measurement.
Case based vs. variable based approaches to understanding attitudes.
Attitudes and behaviour change.
Implicit vs. Explicit attitudes.
Substantive research with attitudinal variables as explantories.
Substantive research with attitudinal variables as responses.
APC studies of historical attitude change.
Theoretical work on attitude structure or the relationship between attitudes and other constructs.


Basic Human Values 1Professor Eldad Davidov
Values have held an important position in the social sciences since their inception. Max Weber treated values as a central component in his analysis of capitalist society, linking the development of capitalism to the values of the Protestant Ethic. Values played an important role not only in sociology, but in social psychology, anthropology, political science and related disciplines as well. They have been used to explain the motivational bases of attitudes and behavior and to characterize differences between both individuals and societies.

Until recently, application of the values construct in the social sciences has suffered from the absence of an agreed-upon conception of basic values and reliable methods designed to measure these values (Hitlin and Piliavin 2004). In 1992, Schwartz introduced a theory of ten basic human values, building on common elements in earlier approaches. The designers of the European Social Survey (ESS) chose this theory as the basis for developing a human values scale to include in the core of the survey. Recently, this theory has been extended to include 19 values (Schwartz et al., in press).

In this session continuing work on basic human values as postulated by Schwartz will be presented. Presentations which discuss (1) The measurement of human values; (2) Values as predictors of attitudes, opinions or behaviour; (3) Value change; and related topics using the theory are welcome. Both substantive and methodological papers using cross-sectional, cross-cultural or longitudinal datasets are welcome.

The 3rd co-organizer of the session is Dr. Jan Cieciuch, University of Zurich, jancieciuch@gmail.com



Basic Human Values 2Professor Eldad Davidov
Values have held an important position in the social sciences since their inception. Max Weber treated values as a central component in his analysis of capitalist society, linking the development of capitalism to the values of the Protestant Ethic. Values played an important role not only in sociology, but in social psychology, anthropology, political science and related disciplines as well. They have been used to explain the motivational bases of attitudes and behavior and to characterize differences between both individuals and societies.

Until recently, application of the values construct in the social sciences has suffered from the absence of an agreed-upon conception of basic values and reliable methods designed to measure these values (Hitlin and Piliavin 2004). In 1992, Schwartz introduced a theory of ten basic human values, building on common elements in earlier approaches. The designers of the European Social Survey (ESS) chose this theory as the basis for developing a human values scale to include in the core of the survey. Recently, this theory has been extended to include 19 values (Schwartz et al., in press).

In this session continuing work on basic human values as postulated by Schwartz will be presented. Presentations which discuss (1) The measurement of human values; (2) Values as predictors of attitudes, opinions or behaviour; (3) Value change; and related topics using the theory are welcome. Both substantive and methodological papers using cross-sectional, cross-cultural or longitudinal datasets are welcome.

The 3rd co-organizer of the session is Dr. Jan Cieciuch, University of Zurich, jancieciuch@gmail.com



Basic Human Values 3Professor Eldad Davidov
Values have held an important position in the social sciences since their inception. Max Weber treated values as a central component in his analysis of capitalist society, linking the development of capitalism to the values of the Protestant Ethic. Values played an important role not only in sociology, but in social psychology, anthropology, political science and related disciplines as well. They have been used to explain the motivational bases of attitudes and behavior and to characterize differences between both individuals and societies.

Until recently, application of the values construct in the social sciences has suffered from the absence of an agreed-upon conception of basic values and reliable methods designed to measure these values (Hitlin and Piliavin 2004). In 1992, Schwartz introduced a theory of ten basic human values, building on common elements in earlier approaches. The designers of the European Social Survey (ESS) chose this theory as the basis for developing a human values scale to include in the core of the survey. Recently, this theory has been extended to include 19 values (Schwartz et al., in press).

In this session continuing work on basic human values as postulated by Schwartz will be presented. Presentations which discuss (1) The measurement of human values; (2) Values as predictors of attitudes, opinions or behaviour; (3) Value change; and related topics using the theory are welcome. Both substantive and methodological papers using cross-sectional, cross-cultural or longitudinal datasets are welcome.

The 3rd co-organizer of the session is Dr. Jan Cieciuch, University of Zurich, jancieciuch@gmail.com



Combining cross-nation and longitudinal perspectives in substantial social researchProfessor Jaak Billiet
This session relates to the submissions that are encourages for ESRA 2013: methods for cross-national data analysis; longitudinal surveys; substantive topics.

It is inspired by past workshops and seminars within the context of QMSS_2 in the 2008-2012 period, in particular the program of research group 443 on Cross-nation comparisons.

This session will be focused on conceptual and methodological problem of overtime analysis in comparative research in the context of substantive studies. While there is a real interest in applying an overtime perspective among cross-national survey researchers, the combination of cross-national comparison with longitudinal analysis is an emerging rather than an established field. Against this background, the prime aim of the proposed session would be to discuss issues and tools in overtime analysis related to substantive studies (research examples) wherein best practice is shown.

In view of the scarcity of cross-nationally comparable panel data in social science research, we define overtime analysis in the broadest possible way. Specifically, in addition to the analysis of cross-national panel data, which is still rather rare, we would include different kinds of data and analysis under "overtime analysis": the analysis of repeated cross-sections to answer theoretical questions about trends or change over time in a comparative way, e.g. European Social Survey, European Election Study, etc.; macro-level time series data; combined multi-time and multi-level analysis; repeated measures with multi-level data...

Apart from technical and statistical issues in the context of substantive studies, theoretical and conceptual papers are also welcomed in which design aspects and the theoretical validity of variables at different levels are discussed.

Literature:

Billiet, J. (in press). Quantitative Methods with survey data in comparative research. In: Patricia Kenneth (Ed.). A Handbook of Comparative Social Policy. (3d edition, in press)


Combining cross-nation and longitudinal perspectives in substantial social research 2Professor Jaak Billiet
This session relates to the submissions that are encourages for ESRA 2013: methods for cross-national data analysis; longitudinal surveys; substantive topics.

It is inspired by past workshops and seminars within the context of QMSS_2 in the 2008-2012 period, in particular the program of research group 443 on Cross-nation comparisons.

This session will be focused on conceptual and methodological problem of overtime analysis in comparative research in the context of substantive studies. While there is a real interest in applying an overtime perspective among cross-national survey researchers, the combination of cross-national comparison with longitudinal analysis is an emerging rather than an established field. Against this background, the prime aim of the proposed session would be to discuss issues and tools in overtime analysis related to substantive studies (research examples) wherein best practice is shown.

In view of the scarcity of cross-nationally comparable panel data in social science research, we define overtime analysis in the broadest possible way. Specifically, in addition to the analysis of cross-national panel data, which is still rather rare, we would include different kinds of data and analysis under "overtime analysis": the analysis of repeated cross-sections to answer theoretical questions about trends or change over time in a comparative way, e.g. European Social Survey, European Election Study, etc.; macro-level time series data; combined multi-time and multi-level analysis; repeated measures with multi-level data...

Apart from technical and statistical issues in the context of substantive studies, theoretical and conceptual papers are also welcomed in which design aspects and the theoretical validity of variables at different levels are discussed.

Literature:

Billiet, J. (in press). Quantitative Methods with survey data in comparative research. In: Patricia Kenneth (Ed.). A Handbook of Comparative Social Policy. (3d edition, in press)


Faith, values and moral attitudes: problems and perspectives of standardized survey measurements 1Mr Pascal Siegers
Although Europe experiences a process of secularization, religious beliefs still constitute an important factor shaping moral attitudes. In this respect, beliefs might concur or compete with values as rationale for attitude formation.
This session addresses the question, how beliefs and values explain individuals' moral attitudes. Theories of religious individualization argue that new form of religion developed in Europe. Heelas and Houtman claim that sociology has to go "beyond the holy Trinity of 'Believer', 'Agnostic', and 'Atheist'" (Heelas/Houtman 2009: 92). New forms of belief (e.g. spirituality, bricolage religiosity) should be studied more systematically in survey research. It is of particular theoretical interest, whether new forms of belief are socially significant, i.e. whether they influence individuals' attitudes and behavior (Voas/Bruce 2007). However, hardly anything is known about the effects of new beliefs on moral attitudes.
In addition, interdependencies between values and beliefs might gain more attention in research. The high correlation between religious beliefs and values points to the question of whether (new) beliefs make a contribution to the explanation of moral attitudes if values are controlled for.
We invite papers that study the effects of beliefs and values on moral attitudes. Contributions that compare effects of alternative beliefs (e.g. spirituality, bricolage religiosity) with traditional religiosity are particularly welcome. Innovative scales for measuring new forms of belief or critical assessments of existing measurements (e.g. of spirituality) are particularly welcome.
Please indicate five keywords.


Faith, values and moral attitudes: problems and perspectives of standardized survey measurements 2Mr Pascal Siegers
Although Europe experiences a process of secularization, religious beliefs still constitute an important factor shaping moral attitudes. In this respect, beliefs might concur or compete with values as rationale for attitude formation.
This session addresses the question, how beliefs and values explain individuals' moral attitudes. Theories of religious individualization argue that new form of religion developed in Europe. Heelas and Houtman claim that sociology has to go "beyond the holy Trinity of 'Believer', 'Agnostic', and 'Atheist'" (Heelas/Houtman 2009: 92). New forms of belief (e.g. spirituality, bricolage religiosity) should be studied more systematically in survey research. It is of particular theoretical interest, whether new forms of belief are socially significant, i.e. whether they influence individuals' attitudes and behavior (Voas/Bruce 2007). However, hardly anything is known about the effects of new beliefs on moral attitudes.
In addition, interdependencies between values and beliefs might gain more attention in research. The high correlation between religious beliefs and values points to the question of whether (new) beliefs make a contribution to the explanation of moral attitudes if values are controlled for.
We invite papers that study the effects of beliefs and values on moral attitudes. Contributions that compare effects of alternative beliefs (e.g. spirituality, bricolage religiosity) with traditional religiosity are particularly welcome. Innovative scales for measuring new forms of belief or critical assessments of existing measurements (e.g. of spirituality) are particularly welcome.
Please indicate five keywords.


Measuring values in society 1Mr David Vannette
Research on political values has spanned several decades in the social sciences (Rokeach, 1968) and has developed into an important area of study for survey researchers. The creation and widespread implementation of Schwartz's (1992) values inventory has been important in directing research on the topic of values, but new techniques and theories have also been constructed and it is important for the broader survey research community to be aware of these developments. The conveners of this session extend an invitation for papers on the topic of measuring values in and across society. Papers in this session may examine methodological challenges or opportunities when assessing values in a population, the development of unique datasets, new approaches to operationalizing values as explanatory variables in analyses, imputation of values from attitudes and opinions, and similar research topics. Submissions incorporating experiments are encouraged as are projects using novel modeling or analysis techniques. Theoretical projects on new ways of conceptualizing values in ways that could ease measurement on surveys are also welcomed, along with work evaluating values measurement instruments and construct validity in comparative contexts. Novel survey measurement approaches are also highly encouraged. Preference will be given to methodologically rigorous proposals that are also firmly grounded in theory and presented in the context of the existing literature. Proposals that are simply descriptive or offer little opportunity to advance the field of research on values are discouraged. Preference may be given to work that is further along in the stages of development.

Measuring values in society 2Mr David Vannette
Research on political values has spanned several decades in the social sciences (Rokeach, 1968) and has developed into an important area of study for survey researchers. The creation and widespread implementation of Schwartz's (1992) values inventory has been important in directing research on the topic of values, but new techniques and theories have also been constructed and it is important for the broader survey research community to be aware of these developments. The conveners of this session extend an invitation for papers on the topic of measuring values in and across society. Papers in this session may examine methodological challenges or opportunities when assessing values in a population, the development of unique datasets, new approaches to operationalizing values as explanatory variables in analyses, imputation of values from attitudes and opinions, and similar research topics. Submissions incorporating experiments are encouraged as are projects using novel modeling or analysis techniques. Theoretical projects on new ways of conceptualizing values in ways that could ease measurement on surveys are also welcomed, along with work evaluating values measurement instruments and construct validity in comparative contexts. Novel survey measurement approaches are also highly encouraged. Preference will be given to methodologically rigorous proposals that are also firmly grounded in theory and presented in the context of the existing literature. Proposals that are simply descriptive or offer little opportunity to advance the field of research on values are discouraged. Preference may be given to work that is further along in the stages of development.

Methodological challenges in the study of attitudes toward immigrationDr Oriane Sarrasin
The increasingly diverse flows of immigrants to Western countries during the last decades have provoked fierce societal debates. Based on data from international social surveys, a large body of research has sought to understand these debates by examining the attitudes of the native population toward various aspects of immigration (e.g., toward specific groups of immigrants, toward immigration policies). Despite its theoretical and societal relevance, the study of immigration attitudes encounters many methodological challenges prone to hamper substantive conclusions. First, unbiased comparisons of attitudes are generally known to require invariant measurement of scales across contextual units or groups. Because immigration attitudes involve a wide range of societal and cultural aspects, the understanding of questionnaire items is likely to differ across countries or groups. However, the extent to which this biases substantive findings remains unknown, as measurement invariance of immigration attitudes is rarely tested. Second, the use of data collected in different contextual units raises questions, such as which unit level (e.g., neighbourhood, region or country) is relevant for investigating the contextual determinants of immigration attitudes or to which extent attitudes in a given contextual unit depend on dynamics in neighbouring units. Yet another central methodological issue pertains to the criteria defining the populations whose attitudes toward immigration are studied. Indeed, many criteria, which differ in their level of strictness, can be relied on to define who belongs to the local population (e.g., being born in the country, having citizenship and/or ancestry), making the definition of group boundaries arbitrary. Using concrete examples, the present session aims at illustrating various methodological challenges--as outlined above but not limited to them--researchers face when studying attitudes toward immigration as well as the solutions they apply.

Public Attitudes Towards Science and Technology 1Dr Nick Allum
Science directly or indirectly plays a part in citizens' everyday lives. Despite the ubiquity of science, and its obvious role in the historical advancement of modern societies, public attitudes are varied and, in some notable areas, are becoming more polarised. Climate change is now a partisan issue in the USA; stem cell research remains controversial in parts of Europe; civil nuclear power is once more a live debate in some countries. Considerable investments in social surveys measuring public attitudes to science have been made over the past 30 years in order to track opinions about these and many other topics. This session will bring together researchers examining these issues through survey analysis.

Papers are invited that use survey data to illuminate attitudinal patterns, make cross-cultural comparisons, to investigate trends over time, to propose new, or evaluate existing, theoretical explanations for attitude formation and change or present new methods for analysis. Substantive topics could include, but are not limited to, biomedicine, climate change, nanotechnology, nuclear energy, biotechnology, synthetic biology. Theoretical and empirical perspectives might include: the role of affect and cognition; information processing, media effects, political partisanship, values and trust.


The growth of social capital: Longitudinal measures and findingsDr Jon Miller
In recent years, the concept of social capital has become a critical part of social science inquiry, but the construct is assessed by a variety of measures. This session will include papers that describe the core components of the social capital construct and specific measures used in different national longitudinal studies. To the extent possible, papers will compare two or more longitudinal studies rather than describe a single longitudinal study.

In a parallel but unrelated process, there are a number of national longitudinal studies -- usually of children, adolescents, and young adults -- in Europe, Australia, Korea, and the United States that have collected measures of social capital. In many cases, the results of the measurement of social capital have been embedded in large comprehensive reports, but this session will encourage the analysis of social capital as a separate construct and encourage papers that describe and discuss the results of these longitudinal measures.

Preference will be given to papers that include both a discussion of the measures of social capital and their findings about the growth, retention, and use of social capital in various societies. Although this session will focus on only social capital, we hope that it may be a paradigm for other sessions in the future that will seek to combine methodological and substantive discussions in integrated analyses.


The Impact of Culture and Economy on Values and Attitudes 1Dr Hermann Duelmer
Classical works in social sciences point out the impact of economic development and cultural heritage or cultural settings on value change. Although most of the authors agree on an interconnection, there is no consent regarding the direction of causality. Weber emphasizes the impact of culture, which can shape economic behavior. This perspective states that values influence economic and political changes and it is in turn influenced by them. Therefore, the Protestant Ethic helped the development of capitalism, which made possible industrial revolution and the growth of democracy. In the same line, Huntington relates religious culture with development of democracy. Marxist perspective gives priority to economy, pointing out that technological development conduces to transformation in the economic system, which shape cultural and politics and produced a change in individual values and attitudes. According to the Marxist perspective, the 'ideological suprastructure', composed by values and moral standards, mirrors the socio-economic foundation of society and changes when the economic context is changing.

This session welcome contributions which try to disentangle the effect of culture and economy on values and attitudes, employing survey data. We particularly encourage submissions based on broad international comparisons, using cross-sectional comparative survey data such as European Values Study, World Values Survey, European Social Survey, or International Social Survey Program. Substantive contributions, approaching the impact of economic development versus culture on various types of values, as well as innovative methodological approaches, which help disentangling the effect of culture and economy on social values and attitudes, are equality welcome.


The Impact of Culture and Economy on Values and Attitudes 2Dr Hermann Duelmer
Classical works in social sciences point out the impact of economic development and cultural heritage or cultural settings on value change. Although most of the authors agree on an interconnection, there is no consent regarding the direction of causality. Weber emphasizes the impact of culture, which can shape economic behavior. This perspective states that values influence economic and political changes and it is in turn influenced by them. Therefore, the Protestant Ethic helped the development of capitalism, which made possible industrial revolution and the growth of democracy. In the same line, Huntington relates religious culture with development of democracy. Marxist perspective gives priority to economy, pointing out that technological development conduces to transformation in the economic system, which shape cultural and politics and produced a change in individual values and attitudes. According to the Marxist perspective, the 'ideological suprastructure', composed by values and moral standards, mirrors the socio-economic foundation of society and changes when the economic context is changing.

This session welcome contributions which try to disentangle the effect of culture and economy on values and attitudes, employing survey data. We particularly encourage submissions based on broad international comparisons, using cross-sectional comparative survey data such as European Values Study, World Values Survey, European Social Survey, or International Social Survey Program. Substantive contributions, approaching the impact of economic development versus culture on various types of values, as well as innovative methodological approaches, which help disentangling the effect of culture and economy on social values and attitudes, are equality welcome.


The Impact of Culture and Economy on Values and Attitudes 3Dr Hermann Duelmer
Classical works in social sciences point out the impact of economic development and cultural heritage or cultural settings on value change. Although most of the authors agree on an interconnection, there is no consent regarding the direction of causality. Weber emphasizes the impact of culture, which can shape economic behavior. This perspective states that values influence economic and political changes and it is in turn influenced by them. Therefore, the Protestant Ethic helped the development of capitalism, which made possible industrial revolution and the growth of democracy. In the same line, Huntington relates religious culture with development of democracy. Marxist perspective gives priority to economy, pointing out that technological development conduces to transformation in the economic system, which shape cultural and politics and produced a change in individual values and attitudes. According to the Marxist perspective, the 'ideological suprastructure', composed by values and moral standards, mirrors the socio-economic foundation of society and changes when the economic context is changing.

This session welcome contributions which try to disentangle the effect of culture and economy on values and attitudes, employing survey data. We particularly encourage submissions based on broad international comparisons, using cross-sectional comparative survey data such as European Values Study, World Values Survey, European Social Survey, or International Social Survey Program. Substantive contributions, approaching the impact of economic development versus culture on various types of values, as well as innovative methodological approaches, which help disentangling the effect of culture and economy on social values and attitudes, are equality welcome.


The Impact of Culture and Economy on Values and Attitudes 4Dr Hermann Duelmer
Classical works in social sciences point out the impact of economic development and cultural heritage or cultural settings on value change. Although most of the authors agree on an interconnection, there is no consent regarding the direction of causality. Weber emphasizes the impact of culture, which can shape economic behavior. This perspective states that values influence economic and political changes and it is in turn influenced by them. Therefore, the Protestant Ethic helped the development of capitalism, which made possible industrial revolution and the growth of democracy. In the same line, Huntington relates religious culture with development of democracy. Marxist perspective gives priority to economy, pointing out that technological development conduces to transformation in the economic system, which shape cultural and politics and produced a change in individual values and attitudes. According to the Marxist perspective, the 'ideological suprastructure', composed by values and moral standards, mirrors the socio-economic foundation of society and changes when the economic context is changing.

This session welcome contributions which try to disentangle the effect of culture and economy on values and attitudes, employing survey data. We particularly encourage submissions based on broad international comparisons, using cross-sectional comparative survey data such as European Values Study, World Values Survey, European Social Survey, or International Social Survey Program. Substantive contributions, approaching the impact of economic development versus culture on various types of values, as well as innovative methodological approaches, which help disentangling the effect of culture and economy on social values and attitudes, are equality welcome.