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Testing for Approximate Measurement Invariance of Human Values in the European Social Survey


Cieciuch, Jan; Davidov, Eldad; Algesheimer, René; Schmidt, Peter (2017). Testing for Approximate Measurement Invariance of Human Values in the European Social Survey. Sociological Methods & Research:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Measurement invariance is a necessary precondition for meaningful cross-country comparisons, and three levels have been differentiated: configural, metric, and scalar. Unfortunately, establishing the most stringent form, i.e., scalar measurement invariance, across groups is difficult. Recently, Muthén and Asparouhov proposed testing for approximate rather than exact measurement invariance as this may be sufficient for meaningful comparisons. Following their strategy, the results of cross-country approximate measurement invariance tests of the PVQ-21 scale to measure values in the European Social Survey (ESS) are presented (N = 274,447 respondents from 15 countries participating in all six rounds). Applying the new approximate method for the test of measurement invariance allows both using more moderate constraints of approximate equality of parameters across groups and exploring the extent of noninvariance. Approximate measurement invariance was established in almost all rounds for two higher-order values: openness to change and self-enhancement. In the case of the two other higher-order values, self-transcendence and conservation, approximate measurement invariance was established across a subset of countries.

Abstract

Measurement invariance is a necessary precondition for meaningful cross-country comparisons, and three levels have been differentiated: configural, metric, and scalar. Unfortunately, establishing the most stringent form, i.e., scalar measurement invariance, across groups is difficult. Recently, Muthén and Asparouhov proposed testing for approximate rather than exact measurement invariance as this may be sufficient for meaningful comparisons. Following their strategy, the results of cross-country approximate measurement invariance tests of the PVQ-21 scale to measure values in the European Social Survey (ESS) are presented (N = 274,447 respondents from 15 countries participating in all six rounds). Applying the new approximate method for the test of measurement invariance allows both using more moderate constraints of approximate equality of parameters across groups and exploring the extent of noninvariance. Approximate measurement invariance was established in almost all rounds for two higher-order values: openness to change and self-enhancement. In the case of the two other higher-order values, self-transcendence and conservation, approximate measurement invariance was established across a subset of countries.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Sociology
08 University Research Priority Programs > Social Networks
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Exact and approximate measurement invariance; Human values; European Social Survey; Bayesian analysis; PVQ-21
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:02 May 2017 12:36
Last Modified:02 May 2017 12:36
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:0049-1241
Funders:University Research Priority Program ‘Social Networks’, Alexander von Humboldt Polish Honorary Research Fellowship granted by the Foundation for Polish Science for international cooperation
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0049124117701478

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