The effect of language of survey administration on the response formation process
Peytcheva, E. (2020). The effect of language of survey administration on the response formation process. In M. Sha, & T. Gabel (Eds.), The essential role of language in survey research (pp. 3-22). RTI Press. https://doi.org/10.3768/rtipress.bk.0023.2004
In Part I: Language Influences on Survey Responses and Data Quality With the increasing number of people of multiple cultural backgrounds in modern societies, surveys of ethnic minorities and immigrants are becoming more common. One obvious source of measurement differences is the necessary use of different languages when intending to measure the same phenomena in multiple ethnocultural groups. Typically, surveys allow respondents to answer in the language of their choice, possibly introducing self-selection bias to the extent to which those who choose their mother tongue differ in background characteristics (e.g., level of acculturation, education), substantive answers, and response patterns (e.g., “don’t know” responses) from those who choose the mainstream language. However, although self-selection certainly plays a role in differences observed across the different language versions of a survey, it is premature to consider it the sole source of all observed differences.