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Overstating value change: question ordering in the postmaterial values index


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Tranter, BK and Western, M 2010 , 'Overstating value change: question ordering in the postmaterial values index' , European Sociological Review, vol. 26, no. 5 , pp. 571-583 , doi: 10.1093/esr/jcp040.

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In much of his research on intergenerational value change,Inglehart uses a four-item index to calculate levels of postmaterial and material value orientations. Latter waves of the World Values Surveys administer a 12-item values index in which the original four-item index is embedded. In some of his research, Inglehart compares values estimated from stand-alone and embedded indices. Using a split sample design, we administered two versions of the longer values index to national probability samples of Australian adults and detected question-ordering effects. Proportions of postmaterialists relative to materialists were inflated when the four-item index was embedded in the longer values index. Comparing estimates of postmaterial values from stand-alone indices with indices embedded in the longer values measure is an unreliable method of assessing change in value orientations, as it overestimates the magnitude of value change over time.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Tranter, BK and Western, M
Keywords: Postmaterial, Values, Value change, Inglehart
Journal or Publication Title: European Sociological Review
ISSN: 0266-7215
DOI / ID Number: 10.1093/esr/jcp040
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Copyright © 2009 Oxford University Press

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