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Synopsis

Intended to bridge the gap between the latest methodological developments and cross-cultural research, this interdisciplinary resource presents the latest strategies for analyzing cross-cultural data. Techniques are demonstrated through the use of applications that employ cross national data sets such as the latest European Social Survey. With an emphasis on the generalized latent variable approach, internationally–prominent researchers from a variety of fields explain how the methods work, how to apply them, and how they relate to other methods presented in the book. Syntax and graphical and verbal explanations of the techniques are included. A website features some of the data sets and syntax commands used in the book.

Applications from the behavioral and social sciences that use real data-sets demonstrate:

  • The use of samples from 17 countries to validate the resistance to change scale across these nations
  • How to test the cross-national invariance properties of social trust
  • The interplay between social structure, religiosity, values, and social attitudes
  • A comparison of anti-immigrant attitudes and patterns of religious orientations across European countries.

The book is divided into techniques for analyzing cross-cultural data within the generalized-latent-variable approach: multiple-group confirmatory factor analysis and multiple-group structural equation modeling; multi-level analysis; latent class analysis; and item-response theory. Since researchers from various disciplines often use different methodological approaches, a consistent framework for describing and applying each method is used so as to cross ‘methodological borders’ between disciplines. Some chapters describe the basic strategy and how it relates to other techniques presented in the book, others apply the techniques and address specific research questions, and a few combine the two. A table in the preface highlights for each chapter: a description of the contents, the statistical methods used, the goal(s) of the analysis, and the data set employed.

This book is intended for researchers, practitioners, and advanced students interested in cross-cultural research. Because the applications span a variety of disciplines, the book will appeal to researchers and students in: psychology, political science, sociology, education, marketing and economics, geography, criminology, psychometrics, epidemiology, and public health, as well as those interested in methodology. It is also appropriate for an advanced methods course in cross-cultural analysis.

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