Designing Questionnaires for Cross-Cultural Surveys

Instructors: Ana Villar, City University, London & Dorothée Behr, GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

Time: 13:00 – 16:00 July 17th 2017

Course description:

This short course will approach this topic from two different but deeply interwoven angles: (1) designing a ‘source’ questionnaire and (2) producing equivalent target questionnaires based on the source questionnaire.

Part 1 will be dedicated to the latest developments in questionnaire design and pretesting in cross-cultural surveys. We will discuss the role of cross-cultural input in the process of designing, pretesting and evaluating questions. Using examples of actual questions from cross-cultural surveys, we will consider qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method pretesting techniques available to researchers embarking on question design for cross-cultural surveys.

Part 2 will provide a general overview of requirements of good questionnaire translation. We then will move on to discuss methods employed to produce and assess questionnaire translations. Special emphasis will be placed on the TRAPD model (Harkness, 2003), which includes parallel translation, team-based review and adjudication stages, pretesting and thorough documentation.

By the end of the course, participants will be familiar (1) with different approaches to designing and pretesting cross-cultural questionnaires, (2) with aspects to consider and methods to employ when producing questionnaire translations; and (3) be able to better account for the needs of cross-cultural questionnaire design and translation in project proposals.

About the instructors:

Dr. Ana Villar is research fellow at the Centre for Comparative Social Surveys (City, University of London), where she directs the cross-national online survey (CRONOS) panel. She is a member of the Translation Expert Panel of the European Social Survey and has coordinated question adaptation tasks as part of the ESS Questionnaire Design team. She has conducted research on the use of interpreters in telephone surveys and on translation assessment methods. She has a doctorate in survey research and methodology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dr. Dorothée Behr is a senior researcher at GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Mannheim (Germany). She holds a degree in translation studies and a doctorate on applied translation studies (questionnaire translation). Her research and services focus on translation and translation assessment methodology. Furthermore, she is involved in a project where item equivalence is assessed by means of cross-national web probing. Previous projects include the European Social Survey or the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies. Between April 2015 and March 2016 she served as interim professor for Applied Translation Studies at the Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences. She is a member of the Translation Expert Panel of the ESS.