Edited by Mandy Sha, Tim J. Gabel.
Open Access Peer Reviewed
Language users, such as survey respondents and interviewers, must speak the same language literally and figuratively to interact with each other. As diversity grows in the United States and globally, interviewers and respondents may speak a different language or speak the same language differently that reflects their own cultural norms of communication. This book discusses the role of language in survey research when comparisons across groups, cultures, and countries are of interest. Language use in surveys is dynamic, including words, symbols (e.g., arrows), and even emojis. The entire survey life cycle is carried out through language. Researchers write or translate questions and instructions that will address research questions and then pretest them using various techniques, including qualitative inquiry that focuses on context beyond just “the numbers.” Human or virtual data collectors use persuasive messages to communicate with survey respondents and encourage their survey participation. Respondents must comprehend and interpret survey questions and instructions to provide a response. All of these survey processes and products contribute to data quality, and the role of language is essential.
Praise for The Essential Role of Language in Survey Research
“This book highlights the importance of language issues for data quality, provides frameworks for conceptualizing the underlying processes, presents diverse methods for identifying problems at an early stage, and illustratesand evaluates potential solutions in the form of improved translation and pretesting procedures.” --Daphna Oyserman and Norbert Schwarz, University of Southern California
“The role of language and issues of language are particularly salient for multinational, multiregional, or multicultural (3MC) comparative surveys that are designed to collect data and compare findings from two or more populations. This book highlights the critical need to consider a range ofissues pertaining to language at various aspects and stages of 3MC survey design and implementation.” --Julie de Jong, Kristen Cibelli Hibben, and Jennifer Kelley, University of Michigan, and Dorothée Behr, GESIS–Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Germany
“The need to reach increasingly diverse target populations requires survey researchers to be ever more aware of the role of verbal and nonverbal language in the survey research process. This book provides a great resource for readers new to the subject, as well as experts, seeking to understand the implications of language for survey design, implementation, and resulting data quality.” --Antje Kirchner, RTI International, and Coeditor of Big Data Meets Survey Science: A Collection of Innovative Methods
“Covering a range of topics fundamental to high-quality surveys in cross-cultural contexts, this new volume features ‘language’ in its varied roles within survey methodology and practice, including questionnaire design, translation, and fieldwork implementation for quantitative and qualitative research. The Essential Role of Language in Survey Research uses in-country examples and analyses from across the globe to underscore specific challenges that survey researchers confront in their work.” --Patrick Moynihan and Martha McRoy, Pew Research Center
Named as one of "10 Books Every Market Research Leader Should Read in 2021" by QualtricsXM
© 2023 RTI International. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.