Survey Methodology is becoming a more structured field of research, deserving of more and more academic attention. The SAGE Handbook of Survey Methodology explores both the increasingly scientific endeavour of surveys and their growing complexity, as different data collection modes and information sources are combined. The handbook takes a global approach, with a team of international experts looking at local and national specificities, as well as problems of cross-national, comparative survey research. The chapters are organized into seven major sections, each of which represents a stage in the survey life-cycle: Surveys and Societies Planning a Survey Measurement Sampling Data Collection Preparing Data for Use Assessing and Improving Data Quality The SAGE Handbook of Survey Methodology is a landmark and essential tool for any scholar within the social sciences.

What Does Measurement Mean in a Survey Context?

Jaak Billiet


I still remember very well my first contact with the term ‘measurement’ in the context of surveying opinions, beliefs, values, and attitudes. This was in one of the earliest lectures in ‘Methods of sociological research’ in the first bachelors’ year in 1967. Because of my previous training in theology and philosophy I could not imagine how it was possible to measure subjective states, or not observable phenomena. I did not realize at the time that measuring theoretical concepts, and assessing the validity of these, would fill a big part of my life. The idea of measurement in (social) science becomes reasonable if it is defined as rules for assigning symbols ...

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