Measurement instruments

Successful survey research requires best-practice standardized and successfully tested measurement instruments (items, scale, questionnaire, test, index). GESIS assists researchers in the selection of validated items and questions, in the design of complete survey instruments, and in the testing of newly developed items and questions.

In addition, we offer expertise in the development of measurement instruments along the quality standards of the RatSWD and in the statistical evaluation of measurement instruments and models.

In addition to the services listed below, we provide advice on the development of questionnaires.

GESIS develops new measurement instruments for the social sciences. To capture psychological variables more effectively and economically, over the past years GESIS has developed (short) scales that measure, among others:

GESIS also provides assistance with shortening existing measurement instruments and developing new short scales.

To the service Short Scales

With the Open Access repository ZIS and the Open Access journal MISS, GESIS supports authors of measurement instruments in documenting them and making them permanently available to the community.

To the service ZIS and the OA journal MISS

Is a question easy to answer? Do the respondents understand the question in the intended sense? Are there differences in the understanding of the question between different persons (groups)? The understanding of items and questions is examined with the help of cognitive pretests.

We support researchers in optimizing their questions and survey instruments by offering the following services:

  • Conducting cognitive pretests (in combination with eye tracking)
  • Conducting cognitive online pretests (Web Probing)
  • Consulting on the selection and independent usage of various pretesting methods
  • Coordination and analysis of pretests for different groups of people or in different cultures

 In addition, we provide researchers access to the findings of our cognitive pretests via the GESIS pretest database.

To the service Cognitive Pretesting

Sociostructural (so-called "background") variables are important evaluation criteria, since they make relevant social groups and thus the social structure of societies visible. We offer information and consulting regarding the measurement and the development of sociostructural variables, regarding their coding and the ex-ante harmonization across samples, e.g. for international comparison. Our focus is on the measurement of education, the survey coding of occupations and the measurement socio-cultural/ethnic origins.

To the service Socio-structural variables

High-quality translations of questionnaires are essential for the quality of data collected in cross-national studies. We provide consulting on how to set up translation and assessment processes and and the requirements for a good translation. When developing the source questionnaire for a study, its translatability and cultural relevance should be definetly considered. We also offer advice on the implementation of additional cross-cultural procedures.

To the service