AAPOR
The leading association
of public opinion and
survey research professionals
American Association for Public Opinion Research

Cross-cultural surveys

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Member Price: $175.00
Nonmember Price: $235.00

Student pricing available


Questionnaire Design for Cross-Cultural Survey Research
About This Course:

Many researchers are taught basic skills for how to reduce bias and measurement error when writing questions, but are given less guidance on how to handle obstacles unique to specific question types, such as knowledge and behavior questions, attitude questions, and questions dealing with sensitive topics. Handling these question types is even more difficult in the international context, where there are unknown and unplanned-for cultural factors impacting respondent understanding. This webinar will equip participants to deal with issues like telescoping and recall problems, social desirability bias, and respondents with low education levels. Examples from surveys fielded in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa will be used to highlight problems that necessitate question adaptation to preserve understanding across cultures.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Identify how cultural knowledge, sensitivities, and micro-politics play a role in questionnaire design for cross-cultural survey research.
  • Recall issues to expect when drafting attitude questions, knowledge questions, behavior questions, and sensitive questions for cross-cultural research.
  • Define strategies to overcome challenges, through actual examples from surveys fielded in countries across the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa, with a specific focus on conflict and post-conflict environments.


Producing and Assessing Survey Questionnaire Translations
About This Course:
Issues of survey translation have been highlighted for decades, with special emphasis during the past 15 years since the publication of Harkness and Schoua-Glusberg’s 1998 article and related publications. Rigorous procedures for questionnaire translation and translation assessment are crucial if one wishes to conduct adequate multilingual survey research. However, survey organizations and researchers conducting multilingual research continue to underestimate the amount of error stemming from translation processes and the amount of effort that translating questionnaires entails.

This webinar will review findings from research on survey translation and outline the main procedures, tools, and documents that survey organizations and researchers need to have at hand to produce high-quality survey translations. The target audience are researchers conducting multilingual surveys, whether they are directly involved in managing translation efforts or just interested in issues of measurement equivalence across languages. The webinar will cover both theory and practice in questionnaire translation and assessment. Examples will be used that will not require knowledge of a language other than English.

Learning Objectives:
  • How to appropriately plan and budget for survey translation.
  • How to select and set up the right translation team.
  • Steps and procedures to produce adequate translations: briefing, translation, assessment, and documentation.


Methods for Cross-Cultural Survey Design
This webinar presents best practices for multicultural survey design and provides cutting edge guidelines for making valid and reliable comparative analysis. The course builds on recommendations and findings from the book that received the 2013 AAPOR book award: Surveys in Multinational, Multiregional and Multicultural Contexts (John Wiley, 2010), as well as the Cross-Cultural Survey Guidelines (http://ccsg.isr.umich.edu/, 2011) and other publications by the two presenters.

Learning Objectives
  • Practical information about where to begin for those new to cross-cultural research and special considerations that may assist those who already design cross-cultural and/or multilingual instruments. The course will talk about both within-country and international surveys/research.
  • Areas in which empirical research has been conducted to develop best practices for designing and conducting multi-cultural, multi-lingual surveys.
  • Areas where future research is needed to expand best practices and documentation of cross-cultural survey procedures.


Defining Hard-to-Survey Populations and Measuring the Difficulty
This webinar provides a conceptual framework for studying “hard-to-survey” populations.   This term has been applied to a wide range of populations, who exhibit a variety of different characteristics that make them difficult to survey. For example, there are many papers in the sampling literature on methods for sampling rare populations—low prevalence populations that must be selected from a general population sampling frame. Other populations are difficult to survey because they are widely scattered, inaccessible or highly mobile. This course explores the different dimensions that make populations hard to survey and also examines metrics that have been used to quantify the different sources of difficulty.

We distinguish populations that are hard to sample, those whose members who are hard to identify, those that are hard to find or contact, those whose members are hard to persuade to take part, and those whose members are willing to take part but nonetheless hard to interview. These distinctions reflect the main steps in many surveys, beginning with sampling and ending with data collection. The course also explores proposed metrics for measuring the difficulties in each operation during a survey and more general metrics of difficulty, such as the hard-to-count index developed by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Learning Objectives
  • Practical information about where to begin for those new to cross-cultural research and special considerations that may assist those who already design cross-cultural and/or multilingual instruments. The course will talk about both within-country and international surveys/research.
  • Areas in which empirical research has been conducted to develop best practices for designing and conducting multi-cultural, multi-lingual surveys.
  • Areas where future research is needed to expand best practices and documentation of cross-cultural survey procedures.


Methods for Cross-Cultural Survey Design
This webinar presents best practices for multicultural survey design and provides cutting edge guidelines for making valid and reliable comparative analysis. The course builds on recommendations and findings from the book that received the 2013 AAPOR book award: Surveys in Multinational, Multiregional and Multicultural Contexts (John Wiley, 2010), as well as the Cross-Cultural Survey Guidelines (http://ccsg.isr.umich.edu/, 2011) and other publications by the two presenters.

Learning Objectives
  • To provide a deeper understanding of the dimensions that make populations hard to survey;
  • To cover the various metrics used to assess the degree of difficulty encountered at each major survey operation; and
  • To explore the underlying factors that make some populations harder to survey than others.