How Europeans See Europe: Structure and Dynamics of European by Angelika Scheuer

By Angelika Scheuer

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The survey questions can be classified into four categories. The first group of questionnaire items includes a series of questions on support that are regularly asked in Eurobarometer surveys and that have become standard indicators in European attitude and election research. As discussed in Chapter 1 Section 1, there is little agreement in the literature about the conceptual meaning of these items. e. 6 The second group of questions is associated with period-specific developments in European integration, namely the Treaty of the European Union (Maastricht Treaty) and the anticipated extension of the Union with Austria, Sweden and Finland in 1995.

The underlying question of this analytical step is which attitudes relate to objects that are closely linked in the mind of the individual and therefore form a common attitude dimension. It makes use of information about one set the elements (stimuli) in order to assess the proximity between them. The method we therefore apply is (confirmative) factor analysis. The assessment of the structure underlying European attitudes proceeds in three steps. The first step is to demarcate from a large number of survey items the ones that should be contained in our analyses, and those that can be disregarded.

E. whether sets of items can be thought to measure the same underlying attitude. This task can be fruitfully fulfilled by means of Mokken scales. The analysis results in a number of latent traits, each of which can be measured by a score derived from the responses to a subset of items. This is presented in Chapter 3 Section 2. The third step consists of determining the relationships between the latent traits that were discovered in the second step. The fact that a set of items can be distinguished in two subsets, each measuring a different latent trait, does not imply that the two subsets are orthogonal.

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