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Left-Right Orientation

This is the QuestionLink page for the harmonized construct "Left-Right Orientation".

On this page, you will find:

  • A construct definition, which we used to select measurement instruments from the survey programs.
  • An overview of all measurement instruments for the construct across included surveys and across all survey years.
  • A list of all measurement instruments with their question wording, response options, and information on where the instrument was used. Here you can select any instrument as a reference instrument and download a recoding document. This way you can recode all other instruments towards that reference instrument.

You can also download the left-right orientation construct report with detailled information on the construct definition, the datasets we used, and the variable names by instrument, survey, and wave.

Construct definition

The harmonized measurement instruments ask respondents to place themselves on a political continuum ranging from "left" to "right". This dimensional reduction of the political landscape is common in many surveys. The instruments do not explain what constitutes "left" or "right" substantively. Instead, the instruments rely on respondents subjective understanding of the terms.

Overview of all measurement instruments

The left-right orientation is measured by eight of the surveys included in QuestionLink. In total we harmonized seven measurement instruments. Please note that some instruments are used by several surveys and some surveys use several different measurement instruments.

QuestionLink surveys which measured the construct

Measurement instruments by survey and year

Measurement instruments are named by the following scheme:

  1. The survey in QuestionLink which first used the measurement instrument.
  2. If there are several measurement instruments which were used first by the same survey, then instruments are differentiated with A, B, C, etc.. Letters are sorted by the number of years an instrument it was used in, starting with A for the most used.
  3. [x]pt for the number of response options (i.e., scale points).

List of measurement instruments

Here are the seven measurement instruments for the left-right orientation, which were harmonized using the QuestionLink Engine.

With a click on "➔ use as reference instrument" you choose a reference instrument. This will download an HTML-Document, which contains recoding scripts to harmonize all other measurement instruments towards the chosen reference.

ESS 11pt

ESS (9) — GESIS Panel (7) — NEPS (2) — ISSP (1)

"In politics people sometimes talk of 'left' and 'right'. Using this card, where would you place yourself on this scale, where 0 means the left and 10 means the right?"

0 left • 1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8 • 9 • 10 right

➔ use as reference instrument

ALLBUS A 10pt

ALLBUS (10) — ISSP (1)

"Many people use the terms "left" and "right" to describe differing political views. Here we have a scale that runs from left to right. If you think of your own political views, where would you place them on this scale?"

left • • • • • • • • • right

➔ use as reference instrument

ALLBUS B 10pt

ALLBUS (10)

"Many people use the terms "left" and "right" to describe differing political views. Here we have a scale that runs from left to right. If you think of your own political views, where would you place them on this scale?"

F links • A • M • O • G • Z • E • Y • I • P rechts

➔ use as reference instrument

EVS 10pt

EVS(4)

"In political matters, people talk of 'the left' and 'the right'. How would you place your views on this scale generally speaking?"

1 left • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8 • 9 • 10 right

➔ use as reference instrument

GLES 11pt

GLES(3)

"In politics, people often talk about "left" and "right". (…) And how about yourself? Where would you place yourself on a scale from 1 to 11?"

01 left • 02 • 03 • 04 • 05 • 06 • 07 • 08 • 09 • 10 • 11 right

➔ use as reference instrument

GPANEL 7pt

GPANEL(3)

"In politics, people often talk about ”left”or ”right”. Where would you place yourself on this scale from ”left”to ”right”?"

1 left • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • right

➔ use as reference instrument

SOEP 11pt

SOEP(3)

"In politics, people often talk about "left" and "right" when describing different political views. When you think about your own political views, how would you rate them on the scale below?"

0 completely left • 1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8 • 9 • 10 completely right

➔ use as reference instrument

Recoding document revisions

We are steadily improving QuestionLink. This means that we will upload revised versions of the recoding documents from time to time. By clicking "use as reference instrument", you always download the most recent version. Below you find links with which you can view and download all past document versions. If you have previously downloaded a document, you can match the versions via the date displayed top and right in your recoding document. Revisions are limited to visual and language aspects. When we update the recoding tables themselves, we will report that specifically.