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The Reference Distribution Method

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

Abstract

With the Reference Distribution Method an attempt is made to deal with the fact that, for a given year and a given population, one would expect the distribution means after scale transformation for similar questions about a certain topic asked in different representative surveys to be approximately the same irrespective of the primary response scales used. This provides the basis for another approach to transformation. The Reference Distribution Method for making survey data comparable builds heavily on the Scale Interval Method. Basically the two methods are identical except that in the Reference Distribution Method the boundaries between the response options of the primary scale are derived from a reference distribution instead of being derived from the assessments by judges by means of the Scale Interval Recorder.

References

  1. DeJonge, T., Veenhoven, R., & Arends, L. R. (2014). Homogenizing responses to different survey questions on the same topic. Proposal of a scale homogenization method using a reference distribution. Social Indicators Research, 117(1), 275–300. doi: 10.1007/s11205-013-0335-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Griffin, S., & Larsen, R. J. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Veenhoven, R. (2011). World database of happiness, example of a focused ‘Findings Archive’ (RatSWD, Working Paper Series, Working Paper no. 169). Retrieved January 29, 2016, http://www.ratswd.de/download/RatSWD_WP_2011/RatSWD_WP_169.pdf

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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