In the first chapter, we discussed the operationalization of concepts-by-postulation through concepts-by-intuition. There, we said that the relationship between the concepts-by-intuition and questions is obvious. However, the transformation of concepts-by-intuition into questions is not so simple, at least if we want to provide a procedure that almost certainly leads to a question that represents the concept-by-intuition. One of the reasons for this is that there exist so many different concepts that one cannot make rules for all of them. Another reason is that there are so many possible ways of formulating questions.

In this chapter, we try to simplify the task by only indicating that the many different concepts that are used in the social sciences can be classified in general classes of basic concepts. For these basic concepts, one can formulate valid questions. In order to make this step simpler, we will first indicate how, for all these concepts, assertions can be formulated that represent them with certainty. In the next chapter, we will then show how these assertions can be transformed into questions.

We start with illustrating the link between many concepts from the European Social Survey (ESS) and basic concepts of the social sciences. Then, we will discuss the basic structures of assertions, after which we will specify which forms of assertions can be used for basic concepts. By following this process, a researcher ...

Get Design, Evaluation, and Analysis of Questionnaires for Survey Research, 2nd Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.