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Appendix A (Advantages and Constraints on Different Approaches to Question Design)

Approach Advantages Constraints
Ask the same questions and translate (ASQT) If successful, questions and item scales can be compared one-by-one across data sets, and thus permit the most sophisticated analyses based on what is sometimes called full scalar equivalence (see [zotpressInText item="{2265844:BGCZP7E8}" format="%a% (%d%)"]). Developing for an ASQT questionnaire may result in reduced specificity of questions used and a resultant loss of saliency and fine-grained information.
ASQT is the least complicated approach to organize and implement. This is not to suggest it does not involve considerable effort, as reflected in this chapter and Translation: Overview. Conceptual coverage for all or some of the populations in the study may thus be reduced and not comparable across populations.
Researchers engaged in it and clients requesting or expecting it may feel more like they are on familiar territory with this model than with others. At the translation stage, those implementing the ASQT may have inappropriate goals for the translation product and produce poor target language versions.
ASQT potentially permits replication of existing questions—provided their basic suitability for translation and fielding with the target populations is ensured. Replicated questions encourage close translation and may not be optimal for one or more target populations.
ASQT does not work well at all for some kinds of questions (e.g., background variables such as education).
ASQT and adapt approaches call for expertise in question development and translation in areas still requiring basic research and/or training.
Decentering Allows two questionnaires to be developed in collaboration and creates the potential for full scalar equivalence (see [zotpressInText item="{2265844:BGCZP7E8}" format="%a% (%d%)"]). May result in questions with low saliency for either culture, since anything that constitutes a problem in the course of development is removed or altered. This would be an obstacle to full scalar equivalence.
Avoids the situation where the needs of one questionnaire and language/culture dominate. Decentering is not viable for projects involving more than a handful of languages.
Can be useful in developing comparable questions for very disparate cultures. Decentering is very work-intensive, and there is little information about recent experiences using this technique.
Ask different questions (ADQ) approaches Avoids the need to base questionnaires for various cultures and languages on translation of a source questionnaire. Little detailed information is available about recent projects adopting an ADQ approach. Researchers have few guidelines about how to develop the quality assurance and quality control steps needed.
Researchers can select the indicators and questions considered most salient for a given population, provided these produce data which can still be compared across populations. If different populations are only asked questions developed for them, item-by-item analyses across populations are more difficult to justify.
It is easier for a group joining an ADQ-based study after other groups have developed and fielded their questionnaires to produce a suitable questionnaire for their context than it is for researchers joining an ASQT project after the source questionnaire has been finalized. Most researchers and clients are unfamiliar with ADQ approaches.
Mixed approaches combining ASQT and ADQ components These can combine the advantages of ASQT and ADQ. They increase the number and kind of procedural steps to be implemented and assessed.
They call for expertise in areas still requiring basic methodological research.
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