Department of Comparative Politics

Linde and colleagues receive multi-million research grant to study language effects in surveys

Professor Jonas Linde of the Department of Comparative Politics and colleagues have received a 9,2 million SEK research grant from The Swedish Research Council to study language effects in surveys.

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The project assesses the impact of language on the ability to draw correct conclusions about individual attitudes to various political phenomena within comparative survey research. Misunderstandings and miscommunication stemming from linguistic ambiguities and contextual variation can lead to erroneous inferences.

The project – "The Advantage of Country Comparisons - Towards a New Method for Estimating Language Effects in Cross-Cultural Surveys" – studies what we know about such language effects, their significance, and how they can be analyzed, through the systematic and comparative study of numerous survey questions cross-nationally and over time. One methodological innovation of the project will be the observation of linguistic behavior in natural settings, such as social media. In this way information on the meaning of words and how conceptual structures develop is obtained.

Professor Jonas Linde of Department of Comparative Politics will collaborate with political scientists and linguists in Sweden and Canada on the 2015-19 project: Sören Holmberg (University of Gothenburg), Stefan Dahlberg (University of Gothenburg; visiting scholar at the Department of Comparative Politics [University of Bergen] Fall 2014), Magnus Sahlgren (Gavagai) and Graeme Hirst (University of Toronto). The project is funded by a 9,2 million SEK research grant from The Swedish Research Council.