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Methodological Research Interests

  1. Comparative empirical social research
  2. Structural equation modeling
  3. Measurement quality and cross-national analyses
  4. Analysis of panel data

This research area encompasses studying the necessary empirical conditions for comparability of theoretical concepts across cultural units. Generalized latent variable modeling provides different methods to assess whether and to what extent measurements of theoretical concepts are comparable across different cultural units. Barriers such as cultural differences, different languages, and different uses of the measurement scale or even different methods of data collection may prevent meaningful comparisons. Thus, the comparability of various scales across different contextual units is assessed and conclusions are drawn with respect to the reasons for differences and the usefulness of the measurements for comparative research. Another research area covers the use and further development of methods to analyze longitudinal data. Here two aspects are of particular interest. First, the conditions of comparability required for cross-cultural research are also necessary for longitudinal research, since the meaning of concepts may change and a culture may develop over time. Second, methods to analyze longitudinal data may allow, under certain conditions, the examination of causality between theoretical concepts and the investigation of development and change over time,

Substantive Research Interests

  1. Values (the Schwartz value theory)
  2. Attitudes toward minorities
  3. Rational choice theory and bounded rationality
  4. Immigration

Substantive empirical research requires first a systematic investigation of the measurement properties of the theoretical constructs of interest, their validity and reliability across different contexts. Currently, one of the main substantive applications is the value concept and its relations with other theoretical constructs. Values are central for the explanation of different attitudes, opinions, and behavior. Mechanisms between values, attitudes toward immigrants and other minorities, sociodemographic variables, or national/European identity as well as contextual factors like economic conditions, state policies, or media coverage are formulated and empirically tested drawing on relevant theories within and across contexts. Most of the empirical analyses are based on secondary data analyses.

Thematic main areas of research

For further details on running projects, see "projects/Projekte"