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Equivalence of Rating Scales Using Different Keywords

  • Tineke de Jonge
  • Ruut Veenhoven
  • Wim Kalmijn
Chapter
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 68)

Abstract

Research has shown that keywords make a difference, for instance that questions using the keyword ‘happiness’ elicit somewhat more positive responses than otherwise similar questions on ‘life satisfaction’. This difference is typically attributed to the topic addressed in the lead question, but there could also be a difference in the interpretation of the response options of the rating scale, for instance when ‘very happy’ denotes a lower degree of well-being than ‘very satisfied’. We present a method to explore the extent to which this difference in interpretation of response options occurs. We illustrate this method by applying it to equivalent response scales for happiness and life satisfaction with response options labeled in Dutch, Spanish and English. We conclude that the interpretation of the scales by respondents has to be examined and discussed carefully in advance before mutually comparing survey results across populations and nations for happiness and life satisfaction.

Keywords

Life Satisfaction Response Option Response Scale Survey Item General Social Survey 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tineke de Jonge
    • 1
  • Ruut Veenhoven
    • 1
  • Wim Kalmijn
    • 1
  1. 1.Erasmus Happiness Economics Research OrganisationErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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