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American Association for Public Opinion Research

Webinar Details

Methods for Cross-Cultural Survey Design

Patti Goerman, PhD and Peter Mohler, PhD
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

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About This Course:

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. Topic areas of the webinar include:

1) A brief introduction and history of research on multi-cultural survey design (formerly cross-cultural surveys) and the concept of survey life cycle (or the survey production process).

2) Practical information on multi-cultural, multi-lingual questionnaire design in terms of: 
a) Questionnaire design, including how to best design survey instruments to be translated or more precisely used with other cultures or nations: 
i) Survey translation methods will be covered only briefly as there will be a separate in-depth AAPOR webinar on translation to follow in 2014.
ii) Cultural differences in response style, cognition and response will be discussed in detail.
b) Pretesting of multi-lingual survey instruments.
c) Data collection in a multi-cultural/multi-population context.
d) Creating harmonized data.
e) Assuring and assessing survey quality in a multi-cultural/multi-population setting.
f) Analyzing comparative data.

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.

About the Instructors:

ImagePeter Ph. Mohler, PhD is a leading expert in cross-cultural survey methods. He is co-editor of both Cross-Cultural Survey Methods (John Wiley, 2003) and the 2013 AAPOR book award recipient: Surveys in Multinational, Multiregional and Multicultural Contexts (John Wiley, 2010). In addition, he is co-author of Understanding Survey Translation, a monograph to be published in 2014 by John Wiley. Peter is owner and Chief Consultant of Comparative Survey Services (COMPASS) and honorary professor at Mannheim University. He served for more than 20 years as director of ZUMA, Mannheim, where he was also head of the European Centre for Comparative Surveys (ECCS), PI of the German General Social Survey (ALLBUS) and of the German part of the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP).


ImagePatricia Goerman, PhD is a Research Sociologist in the Center for Survey Measurement at the U.S. Census Bureau. She was a contributing author in Surveys in Multinational, Multiregional and Multicultural Contexts (John Wiley, 2010). Her research focuses on the development and pretesting of multilingual survey instruments with a focus on Spanish-language materials. Her work has included methodological research into best practices for pretesting multilingual survey instruments, including cognitive testing and behavior coding. She has a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Virginia, where her research focused on Latino immigrants settling in nontraditional areas in the Southeastern United States.