Measuring party attachments with survey questionnaires

Martin Rosema, Sabrina J. Mayer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

9 Citations (Scopus)


In the study of voter behaviour, survey questionnaires have long been central. The American National Election Studies, which started in 1952 in the United States, were used as a template for similar long-standing election surveys in several countries in Europe. The American survey questions on party identification have become a standard for measuring party attachments, albeit that to be able to apply them in other countries and in cross-national research they had to be adjusted. This chapter presents an inventory of the most widely used survey items that measure party attachments, analyses how they link up to different conceptualizations of partisanship, including negative partisanship and multiple partisanship, and assesses their measurement quality. The review includes several suggested alternatives for question wording as well as the use of multi-item indices. The chapter concludes with recommendations for the measurement of partisanship in future research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook of Political Partisanship
EditorsHenrik Oscarsson, Sören Holmberg
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar
ISBN (Electronic)9781788111997
ISBN (Print)9781788111980
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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