Attitudinal Polarization Measurement Through (Ordered) Latent Class Analysis: An Application to Self-Expression Values and the Losers of Modernization Thesis

87 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2015 Last revised: 30 Jun 2017

See all articles by Boris Sokolov

Boris Sokolov

National Research University Higher School of Economics - Laboratory for Comparative Social Research

Date Written: June 28, 2017

Abstract

This paper presents a new approach to the measurement of attitudinal polarization for cross-national or repeated cross-sectional studies. The proposed approach has two stages. First, Latent Class Analysis (LCA) is used to identify a categorical latent construct underlying a set of observed items. According to the best LCA solution, class membership is assigned for each individual. Then, a broad family of categorical polarization indices may be applied to the identified latent scale in respect to any grouping variable of interest. The data from the 4th wave of the European Values Study are used to measure polarization between survival and self-expression values in 28 European countries. The resulting scores are used to investigate an association between values polarization and support for anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim prejudices. It is found that (a) among the most developed EU states polarization positively correlates with the aggregate-level spread of prejudices, and (b) individual value orientations align stronger with prejudices in polarized countries.

Keywords: values, polarization measurement, latent class analysis, order-constrained LCA, losers of modernization

JEL Classification: C38, Z00, Z13

Suggested Citation

Sokolov, Boris, Attitudinal Polarization Measurement Through (Ordered) Latent Class Analysis: An Application to Self-Expression Values and the Losers of Modernization Thesis (June 28, 2017). Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 66/SOC/2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2703259 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2703259

Boris Sokolov (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics - Laboratory for Comparative Social Research ( email )

room 318; 55-2, Sedova ul.,
Saint-Petersburg, 190068
Russia
+78125600443 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hse.ru/en/org/persons/50169851

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