Pretest Database
Project Title:International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) 2015 (English Version)
  1. General Information: *Note: The item was tested in German. This is an English translation of the original German wording. The translation does not correspond exactly to the wording in the English ISSP source questionnaire.*
  2. Question Text: In your opinion, what were the main reasons for the discrimination?
    [Was waren Ihrer Meinung nach die wichtigsten Gründe für die Benachteiligung?]
  3. Instruction: (Several entries are possible!) [(Mehrere Nennungen sind möglich!)]
  4. Answer Categories My age [Mein Alter]

    My national origin, descent or skin colour [Meine nationale Herkunft, Abstammung oder Hautfarbe]

    My nationality [Meine Staatsangehörigkeit]

    My sex [Mein Geschlecht]

    My religion [Meine Religion]

    My disability [Meine Behinderung]

    My family responsibilities [Meine familiären Verpflichtungen]

    Very personal reasons [Ganz persönliche Gründe]

    Other reasons [Andere Gründe]

    Don’t know [Kann ich nicht sagen]


    1. Recommendations: Question:
      No changes recommended.
      Response Options:
      We recommend deleting the answer category "very personal reasons" and to offer an additional open field for the answer category "other reasons" ("other reasons, namely:"). This gives respondents the opportunity to give a reason that goes beyond the reasons given in the answer categories.
  1. Cognitive Techniques: General Probing, Comprehension Probing, Specific Probing.
  2. Findings for Question: The frequency distribution includes only those eight respondents who stated in the previous question 6 that they had been professionally disadvantaged in the last five years. In total, the eight test persons make 12 mentions, which are distributed over the test persons as follows.

    Five of the eight test persons give one reason each, among them age (TP 10, TP 15), gender (TP 02) and other reasons (TP 04). Test person 11 ticked "Don’t know" and justified this by saying that they could not judge what the reason was in the end.

    Three test persons state several reasons each: Test person 14 gives "personal reasons" and "other reasons" as reasons for discrimination. Test person 13 blames a combination of gender and family responsibilities and test person 05 blames a combination of age, gender and family responsibilities for the disadvantage.

    Question 7 also systematically investigated what respondents understand by "family commitments", "very personal reasons" and "other reasons".

    “Family responsibilities" include family care for 14 of the 15 respondents: five respondents think of childcare (TP 03, TP 06, TP 07, TP 11, TP 13), the other nine include childcare and care for other family members, such as sick parents or parents in need of care. Only test person 04 cannot imagine a situation in which one is disadvantaged due to family responsibilities.

    Two female test persons have given "family obligations" as reasons for their disadvantage and explain this as follows:
    • “Either I want people to think I'm about to get pregnant. Or the parent, for example a mother with a small child and people think, "It could be that the child gets sick all the time or you have a child with a disability or a seriously ill parent." (TP 05)
    • “The two points (gender and family responsibilities) are often closely related. Women usually have to take on the lion's share of family obligations and are therefore more likely to reduce working hours and cannot progress in their careers as much as men. In addition, our hierarchical structure is often male-dominated and therefore the understanding of this is probably not quite as present. Male colleagues are therefore rather preferred.“ (TP 13)
    In answering question 7, one respondent ticked "very personal reasons". The test person explains her answer as follows: "Personal reasons, because the decision was made politically. This is sometimes also because one applicant has to observe a period of notice and the other is available immediately." (TP 14).

    Of the remaining 14 test persons, three test persons (TP 02, TP 06, TP 08) state that they do not know what is meant by this. The remaining subjects include inappropriate behavior (3 TPs), such as alcohol abuse (TP 11), illegal activities (TP 04) or simply negative behavior (TP 13); lack of sympathy (TP 01, TP 05, TP 12) or the relationship with work colleagues (argument, TP 03; relationship, TP 15). Once each time, time or physical restrictions at work (TP 09), illness (TP 07) or lack of qualifications (TP 10) are associated with "personal reasons".

    In total, two test persons (TP 04, TP 14) ticked "other reasons" as the reason for discrimination. While respondent 14 understands "professional deficits", respondent 04 is not sure what the reasons for discrimination were: "I would tick 'other reasons'. This can range from rumors to my lifestyle." (TP 04)

    Seven of the eight test persons who received the original version of the question found the answer "rather easy" (3 TPs) or "very easy" (4 TPs). TP 04 found the answer "rather difficult" because they had not yet thought about it.
  1. Question Topic: Job and career/ Job motivation & attitudes
  2. Construct: Reasons for professional disadvantage