Factorial Survey Methods for Studying Beliefs and Judgments

Guillermina Jasso, Factorial Survey Methods for Studying Beliefs and Judgments, Sociological Methods & Research 2006 34: 334-423.

This article develops a unified framework, based on Rossi’s factorial survey method, for studying positive beliefs and normative judgments. The framework enables estimation of individuals’positive-belief and normative-judgment equations, leading to analysis of the components of beliefs and judgments, assessment of interpersonal variability in the components, and estimation of two further equations, representing, respectively, the determinants and consequences of the components. We describe procedures for data collection, assemble a set of tools for estimating thepositive-belief and normative-judgment equations and carrying out the corresponding homogeneity tests, and propose ways of estimating the determinants and consequences equations. To illustratethe framework, we investigate both a positive-belief equation (describing adolescents’ views concerning determination of marital happiness) and a normative-judgment equation (describing judgments of the justice of earnings). This article thus provides a guide to contemporary factorial survey analysis, and points the way to its further development.

Key Words: factorial survey analysis • vignettes • marital happiness • justice • inequality

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