Some reflections on the measurement of basic attitudes in a multi-country context

Date of publication: June 15, 1971


Studying the differences that exist in the patterns of consumption in the different countries it becomes evident, that a number of these differences is hard to explain. To give an illustration: How does one explain that in the Netherlands 98 % of the housewives use margarine and only 31 % use butter, whereas in France these percentages are respectively 47 % and 94 %, taking account of the fact that differences in prices are almost non-existent? In these cases classification of the housewives according to demographical variables does not suffice ; one will also have to consider psychological and sociological variables. The preceding motivated us, a multi-country institute, some time ago to consider a research of the attitudes of housewives in several European countries. Designing the model of this research we encountered a fundamental problem, viz. how does one have to measure the psychological and sociological variables in order to create comparability ? The solution of this fundamental problem, took so much time that at this moment we are not yet able to offer you the results of this research, but we hope to be able to inform you about it in the very near future. We are capable, however, to offer you briefly a problem analysis and an outline for a possible solution.

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