Development of the questionnaires
The questionnaires were developped in close collaboration with CESSI (Fieldwork organisation in Russia, Moscow). Each questionnaire was first written in English, and later translated into Russian, and finally this Russian version was again translated into English to check whether the translation worked.
Structure of the questionnaires [sections]
Each questionnaire is divided in virtual sections. These virtual sections are:
Each of the Dutch participants has been responsible for the core of a section. This means that he or she developped the initial questions and introduced new questions or deleted old questions. Allthough the removal of questions is not prefereble in a panel study, it had to be done sometimes in order to keep the questionnaire within size.
The above mentioned virtual sections are operationalised in the questionnaires in the following sections. These names are not always found in the questonnaires, the names have sometimes been changed, but this is merely done because a section needs a name.
- Finances, employment, working conditions, and income.
- Political participation, satisfaction, and action.
- Satisfaction with different domains of life, personality, health, and happiness.
Trend and specific questions
In the questionnaires there are certain questions that have always been asked in the same wording and format. These questions are denoted as trend questions. For those questions trend tables are available online. These trend questions are divided following the basic idea behind the questionnaire. In short that is that (1) we ask for the present situation, then (2) the satisfaction with the present situation, (3) and finally we ask whether a actions will be taken to change the situation. The trend questions are divided in questions about:
- Marriage and family life
- Social contacts
- General satisfaction
A lot of questions are also asked more than once, and could be viewed as trend questions accompanied by trend tables. However, these questions did not fit into the basic idea behind the questionnaire and are therefore denoted as specific questions for which no trend tables are available online. It is possible to request for the data files so trends can be studied for these questions by inspection of the raw data.
Special sections are added to the questionnaire for methodological research. These sections contain mainly multitrait multimethod (test-retest) and split ballot experiments. In most cases they do not interfere with the other questions/sections in the questionnaires, allthough they sometimes coincide with the other questions. For an overview of these experiments a special website will be built in the near future.
In wave 1 and 2 these methodological experiments were multitrait multimethod panel experiments, in which groups of questions were repeated within the same wave (test-retest).
In wave 3 and 4 the sample was randomly divided into three subgroups, named A, B, and C. Each subgroup was given a different subset of questions at the end of the questionnaire, that were also asked at the beginning of the questionnaire (to all groups). The subgroups are the same across wave 3 and 4.
In wave 5, 6, and 7 multitrait multimethod and split ballot experiments were also executed. In these waves two random samples, named A and B, were used as subgroups for the experiments.
Finalization of the questionnaires (quality checks)
For the finalization of the panel study we spend a month on checking the wording of the questions together with native speaking Russians from CESSI. Nevertheless, it may still be possible that wording of the questions may still differ across the questionnaires. But that will in most cases be a real difference in the wording of the questions, i.e. not caused by translation differences. If one wants to be certain about whether questions are really formulated differently, check the Russian questionnaire. If anyone notices inconsistencies in the formulations of the questions, either due to translation, or because of a real change in the formulation, please inform us about that by e-mail. We will then double check such inconsistencies and make changes if necessary. Updated versions of the questionnaire will be put on this site as soon as possible