The Stability of the Value Typology of Europeans: Testing Invariance with Confirmatory Latent Class Analysis
41 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2014
Date Written: August 29, 2014
Unlike variable-centered measures, validity and stability of typologies have been rarely studied. Magun, Rudnev and Schmidt [in review] developed a value typology of the European population using data from the 4th round of the European Social Survey. The value classes showed heuristic power in the comparison of different parts of the European population, countries in particular, enabling more differentiated interpretations in a parsimonious way. The current paper tests the stability of this typology by extending the study to three time points – consecutive surveys in 2008, 2010 and 2012. Conceptually, this test coincides with measurement invariance testing. We reviewed the levels of typology measurement invariance. Then, the invariance of the value typology of Europeans was tested across three rounds of the ESS and it was found to hold configural and partial invariance. The reliability of the value classes was supported by the stability of country class probabilities across the time points as well. The correlations of the country shares of the value classes with the economic development of countries are also invariant at the three time points. The results imply that the value classification of Europeans is not ad hoc, but reflects the natural structure of European societies, and can be used in future studies.
Keywords: basic human values, latent class analysis, measurement invariance, heterogeneity, European population
JEL Classification: A13
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