The construction, distribution, and analysis of factorial surveys

Target group

The target audience of this course are PhD students or any other researchers that are currently conducting research using factorial survey designs or thinking of doing so in the future. The course is mainly focused on the application of factorial survey to criminological and social science research, but interested researchers from any other discipline are warmly welcome. Basic knowledge of statistics is required, as well as the ability to understand and communicate clearly in English.

Topic and theme

This specialist course is focused on factorial survey designs as an innovative method of research. This type of design has proven to be a valuable method in the study of, amongst a wide range of other concepts, criminological phenomena. However, the construction of factorial surveys is a complex endeavor, reinforced by the fact that this design is seldom taught in standard curricula. Additionally, once one has constructed a viable and valid factorial survey and distributed it to participants, the analysis of the acquired data requires a specific set of statistical skills. This specialist course aims to address factorial surveys from their construction to the analysis of their data in order to provide this valuable knowledge to PhD researchers that are currently using this design or plan to use it in their research.

Objectives of the course

The course aims to teach the participants the ins and outs of factorial survey research through lectures and interactive sessions with experts on the matter. Not only theoretical insights will be provided, but also practical tips and tricks for those who wish to construct and analyze factorial surveys. Additionally, this course aims to provide in depth knowledge of the statistical analyses relevant in this domain, through the use of exercises and feedback sessions.

Programme

DAY 1 

    • Introduction to PhD students’ research topics and expectations of the course.

    • Introduction to the theoretical aspects and use of factorial surveys (Prof. Auspurg, 3h).

    • Lunch Break

    • Practical aspects behind the construction of factorial surveys, and their programming (Prof. Auspurg, 3h).

    DAY 2

    • Theoretical insights into the statistical techniques that can be used to analyze factorial survey data (Prof. Sauer, Prof. Auspurg, 3h).

    • Lunch Break

    • Practical exercises and group discussion on those techniques, and application to a real SPSS data set (Prof. Sauer, 3h).

    DAY 3

    • Interactive session where PhD students present and apply the acquired knowledge to their own research. Feedback is provided by the lecturer and by the peers (Prof. Auspurg, 4h).

    • Evaluation of the course.

    Dates and Venue

    21 - 23 February 2022 - Venue TBD (ONLINE OR ON CAMPUS)

    Organisers

    Prof. dr. Wim Hardyns & Lucie Vanwersch

    Faculty: Law & Criminology - Department: Criminology, Criminal Law, and Social Law.

    Email: Wim.Hardyns@ugent.be / Lucie.Vanwersch@ugent.be

    Teaching methods and materials

    The course will start with a theoretical introduction to factorial surveys and their use within criminological research and social science research. All participants will shortly introduce their research topic, and share their expectations about the course (3 hours). Then, The practical aspects behind the construction of a factorial survey will be discussed (which software can be used, how to create a vignette universe, how to program the vignettes into a broader survey,…) (3 hours).

    The next day will be centered around the statistical analysis of the data that can be obtained with factorial surveys. First this will be done theoretically (3h), and then the knowledge will be used to solve practical exercises using SPSS data sets and outputs (3h). Lastly, students will be asked to present about their research and their own (potential) use of factorial surveys in short 15min presentations. Feedback will be provided by the lecturer and by the other students to ensure that participants will be able to apply the knowledge they acquired in the course to their own project (4h).

    The relevant articles (full-texts) will be provided to the participants, as well as lecture slides. Additionally, a document containing the practical statistical exercises will also be provided.

    Registration

    To register for the Specialist Course as a PhD student, please contact Lucie.Vanwersch@ugent.be with the subject “Factorial Surveys Specialist Course” and with your name, affiliation and thesis title.

    Please read the cancellation policy.

    Registration fee

    Free of charge for Doctoral School members.

    Number of participants

    A minimum of 8 and a maximum of 15 participants is aimed. PhD students will be given priority over other categories of researchers.

    Evaluation criteria (doctoral training programme)

    The course will be evaluated by attendance (100´%) and active participation during each session. Additionally, participants will be required to give a presentation about the factorial survey they are currently working on and how the information from the course is applicable to them, or on how they could potentially use factorial surveys in the context of their future research. The presentation itself will also constitute a part of the evaluation.