Questionnaire and research topics

Design of the WVS-7 questionnaire has been a lengthy process which required efforts and contributions from all the WVS network members and beyond. Questionnaire drafting has been strted in April 2014. Final version of the questionnaire has been finalized in December 2016 with the survey fieldwork commencing already in January 2017.

Similar to the previous waves, WVS-7 questionnaire is an extensive research tool comprising of 290 questions and measuring cultural values, attitudes and beliefs towards gender, family, and religion, attitudes and experience of poverty, education, health, and security, social tolerance and trust, attitudes towards multilateral institutions, cultural differences and similarities between regions and societies. In addition, the WVS-7 questionnaire has been elaborated with the inclusion of such new topics as the issues of justice, moral principles, corruption, accountability and risk, migration, national security and global governance.

Given the longitudinal character of the WVS research program, a number of survey items refering to social, political, economic and cultural values and norms as well as batteries measuring post-materialist index are replicated from the previous waves. The approximate proportion between the longetudinal vs new questionnaire elements is 60% to 40%.

WVS-7 survey round is also contributing towards monitoring the set of Sustainable Development Goals and the targets defined by the UN post-2015 agenda. WVS-7 questionnaire contains over 100 indicators allowing to assess the status of SDGs 1 (no poverty), 2 (zero hunger), 3 (good health and wellbeing), 4 (quality education), 5 (gender equality), 8 (decent work and economic growth), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 13 (climate action), 16 (peace, justice and strong institution), 17 (partnerships for the goals).

WVS-7 questionnaire is structured along 14 thematic sub-sections, including demography, as following:

  • social values, attitudes & stereotypes (45 items);
  • societal well-being (11 items);
  • social capital, trust and organizational membership (49 items);
  • economic values (6 items);
  • corruption (9 items);
  • migration (10 items);
  • post-materialist index (6 items);
  • science & technology (6 items);
  • religious values (12 items);
  • security (21 items);
  • ethical values & norms (23 items);
  • political interest and political participation (36 items);
  • political culture and political regimes (25 items);
  • demography (31 items).

In addition to this, regional and thematic modules have been included into the WVS-7:

  • Middle East and North African regional module (surveyed in selected MENA countries);
  • Political trust thematic module (surveyed in selected developing countries);
  • Gender module (surveyed in African countries and India). 

WVS-7 master questionnaire is designed in English with the centrally prepared translations into several major languages (Arabic, Spanish and Russian) being offered by the WVSA Secretariat. Unless the centrally translated version is suitable, all WVS national surveys teams are in charge to prepare the translations into their national language(s) in their respective country. In any given country, the questionnaire must be translated into all languages which serve as the first language for 15% (or more) of the population. For countries that participated in previous waves of the World Values Survey, translation for the replicated items is used from the previous wave questionnaires to minimize bias during overtime comparsion of answers distributions.

WVS requires implementation of the common questionnaire fully and faithfully, in all countries included into one wave. This is the main condition which ensures over-time comparison of the collected data and is the main criteria for inclusion of each national data-set into the WVS-7 aggregated data-file. All WVS teams have a possibility to exclude few questions which are not acceptible in the country's cultural context. All WVS teams also have a possibility to include up to 40 additional country-specific questions on any topic related to the main theme of the WVS research program. 

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