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Trend and Cross-National Study of General Social Attitudes

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The study of general social attitudes as assessed by social surveys has been quantitatively oriented and scientifically rigorous because it is based on empirical survey data. This approach has been extended to include trend and cross-national studies in an attempt to make comparing nations more comprehensible and to order them more systematically into an overall pattern for comparison and contrast. However, this attempt has not been achieved so far. In the present study, to approach this goal, cohort analysis for trend studies and correspondence analysis for cross-national studies (and their combinations), as well as link analysis (which stems from both cohort and correspondence analysis) are suggested for future survey research. However, much experience with secondary analysis has been claimed to be important prior to carrying out surveys for link analysis. In sociological research we have a general tendency to rush into using existing data for secondary analysis to test hypotheses without knowing about the characteristics of the collection procedures or the quality of the data. In the present study, emphasis is placed on evaluation of data to be used for trend and cross-national studies prior to using these data to test hypotheses. Taking this kind of approach to the conduct of analyses will enable empirical analyses to verify existing sociological theories as well as contribute to the establishment of new or modified theories which relate to trend and cross-national studies.

Affiliations: 1: Bureau of Sociological Research, Hyogo Kyoiku University, Yashiro-cho, Hyogo-ken, Japan; 2: Department of Interdisciplinary Statistics, The Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Tokyo, Japan


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