METODOLOGY

METODOLOGY

The 2014 yearbook includes a selection of the most relevant CIS barometers over the year. The section on “Perceptions of the economic and political situation” presents the common questions of the different barometers on this subject, from both retrospective and prospective points of view. In the section on “Assessment of the government and the opposition”, the interviewee's assessments of the government, the opposition, the Ministers and main political leaders can be reviewed in the political barometers carried out in the months of January, April, July and October. The other sections represent a selection of the questions of each monthly monographic study. For this, an equilibrium was sought between the relevance of each indicator and the number of questions chosen in that month. However, sometimes the selection of some sets of questions has required more space.

The presentation of the data referring to each question is intended to maintain a similar structure to that within each chapter. This way, blocks dedicated to "Perceptions of the economic and political situation" and "Assessment of the government and the opposition" include the longitudinal annual evolution of these views with a representative graph of responses, monthly or quarterly. Meanwhile, monthly themed blocks show the marginal frequencies (or medium, as appropriate) for each of the selected questions, also accompanied by a specific graph. In most cases, these graphs represent the percentage of each response option on a scale of 10 to 100%, depending on the case. However, for some specific questions, such as the average assessment of political leaders and Ministers, this representation is adjusted to fit closer upper and lower limit values for clarity, given the low variation in these values.

Representative names have been given to the content of the presented tables and to the month or themed block to which they belong, making them easy to identify. In this way, for example, the first table referring to the block of “Perceptions of the economic and political situation” is called “Table SIT1”, the first table for the block “Assessment of the government and the opposition” is identified as “Table POL1”, and the first table of the barometer for February is called “Table F1”

The tables literally cite the question and response categories of the original questionnaire

Next, intersections are provided with the most common sociodemographic and political indicators offered by the CIS to its users: sex, age, marital status, education, employment status, social class, ideology, voting history, religion and locality. Some of these variables have been recoded or transformed to make it easier to read and interpret the data which are generally calculated for each category of that variable (in percentage rows). In a few questions only, these percentages are calculated by columns, as indicated in the document.

The variables of age and social class maintain the same categories provided by the CIS for the different studies through its website. However, ideology, locality, voting history and education have been recoded differently to present a more synthesised table of results. Age includes the following intervals: “Up to 24”, “Aged 25 to 34”, “Aged 35 to 44”, “Aged 45 to 54”, “Aged 55 to 64” and “65 and over”. In the ideology variable, the intermediate values "5" and "6" are not in groups, and the rest of the values are grouped: the left represented by the values “1-2”, “3-4”, and the right by the values “7-8” and “9-10”. The locality size categories are identified as follows: municipalities of fewer than 10,000 inhabitants are classified as “Village or small town”, of 10,001 to 100,000 inhabitants as “Town”, of 100,001 to 1,000,000 inhabitants as “City”, and more than 1,000,000 inhabitants as “Metropolitan area”.

A combination of questions were used to create the variables of education, social class and religion. In the case of education, the question of whether they went to school is combined with the question measuring the highest level of education, using the following categories: “Primary or less”, “Early Secondary”, “Mid-level VT”, “Later Secondary”, “Upper-level VT”, and “University”. The new variable of religion combines the definition of religion with the frequency of religious practice, creating three categories: “Practising believer”, “Non-practising believer”, and “Atheist, non-believer”. In voting history, the question of whether they voted in the last elections is combined with the question of which party they voted for. The following categories were created: “PP”, “PSOE”, “IU/ICV”, “UPyD”, “CiU”, “Other parties”, “Was not old enough”, “Blank vote”, “Did not vote”, “Does not remember”, and “N/A”. The category "Did not vote" includes all those options that reflect abstention in either of the original two questions (went to vote but could not, did not go to vote because they could not, chose not to vote and invalid vote).

For its part, the social class variable was created from interviewee responses for three questions: employment status, occupation and socioeconomic status, following CNO 2011 and CNAE 2009 code. The five categories in this variable are: “Upper/upper-middle class” (groups professionals, qualified technicians, senior and middle management), “New middle classes” (Non-manual salaried workers), “Old middle classes” (business owners, the self-employed and farmers), “Skilled workers” (skilled manual workers, supervisors and craftsmen/women), “Unskilled workers” (workers in industry and services, and agricultural labourers).

The response categories "Do not know (N.S.)" and "No answer (N.C.)" of the intersecting explanatory variables are only presented in the tables in those cases where this figure has its own meaning and is statistically significant. Therefore, "N.S." and "N.C." are used when presenting political ideology; "I do not remember" and "N.C." in voting history; and "N.C." in the religion variable, but it is not included in other cases due to its residual nature. Meanwhile, if included in the design of the questionnaire, it is specified whether a response is a “Spontaneous response” contributed by the interviewee when asked the question, and on other occasions, if the category was one that the interviewer was instructed not to offer as a pre-set response option, in which case “DO NOT READ” appears next to it.

The fact that some of the categories of the different indicators are not frequently found among the answers given by interviewees makes it necessary in this section to highlight the limitations of interpreting the percentages in these cases. For this reason, the number of people (n) that respond per category or as a whole to those questions is shown in brackets.

Sometimes partial information is provided about certain questions to make them less complicated to read. For example, the response options "A lot" and "A good amount", used in some question sets to capture both frequency and a degree of agreement, have been grouped into the "A lot + A good amount" option, ruling out other response options ("Little" and "Nothing"). In general, it is used to present the most significant result for these kinds of questions, so sometimes only one piece of data is included, as is the case in the chapter on Public opinion and fiscal policy, in which only the category "Very few " appears in the question about resources allocated to different public services. Another case is the chapter on Languages, in which the intersections referring to "Tend to agree" in relation to a series of sentences are shown, or the chapter on Joint Responsibility, in which only the intersections the category "Never" in relation to various issues concerning partners are shown, for example.

Meanwhile, in questions which include the possibility of mentioning more than one answer (for example, in first and second place), only the data referring to first place are represented. Moreover, in the case of questions with a scale of 0 to 10, when not in a set of questions, the categories are grouped to simplify reading: “0-2”, “3-4”, “5”, “6-7” and “8-10”.

Throughout the document multiple choice questions appear that represent, in aggregate, various responses of each of the interviewees to the same list of options or values. These questions have the characteristic that, unlike in other questions, the (n) represents all responses instead of all the people who have responded. The interviewer gives marks to all responses given by the interviewee, so the sum of the percentage column exceeds 100.

The respective data sheets for each of the barometers included can be found in the yearbook appendix.

arrow_back