Abstract and Keywords
Fields that study psychological and social phenomena rely heavily on survey methods for data collection. Rigorous methods have been devised for the development of instruments suitable for survey research. Instruments developed with such methods can have adequate reliability and evidence for construct validity. They involve a step-by-step process of defining a construct, creating items, administering those items, conducting item analysis and other analyses to choose an internally consistent set of items, and collecting evidence for validity. Drawing inferences from survey studies requires consideration of issues concerning research design (e.g., cross-sectional vs. longitudinal), the nature of samples, and the likelihood of biases that might contaminate measurement. Studies done cross-nationally to draw inferences about country differences raise concerns about the measurement equivalence of measures (item intercorrelations are homogeneous across samples), and the equivalence of samples being compared.
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