Over the last decades, the increasing availability of comparative survey data has opened up a wide avenue of research opportunities for social scientists. International survey projects measure a wide range of attitudes and behaviors with the explicit purpose of making comparisons across countries, regions or time points. The potential relevance of such comparisons is paramount. Besides identifying differences between contexts and cultures, comparative data is helpful in testing theories about social change and contextual influences on individual characteristics. Fortunately, in recent years comparative researchers have increasingly acknowledged the importance of the comparability of measurements. A variety of methodologies have been proposed to assess to what extent survey measurements are cross-culturally equivalent. This special issue of methods, data, analyses with six papers has the ambition to contribute to the contemporary debates on the comparability of survey measures. By providing new tools, novel insights and original applications in the field of measurement equivalence, this collection of papers advances our current knowledge on measurement equivalence.
Authors: Bart Meuleman, Eldad Davidov and Daniel Seddig