European Ph.D on Social Representations and Communication
Method

Data collection tools

For data collection (currently under weigh) a multi-lingual (Italian, English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Finnish, French, Hungarian) questionnaire was designed that integrates structured tools and that is projective in nature (textual and graphic).

More specifically:

a. associative networks (de Rosa, 1995), a tool that assigns to the subjects that express the representation, the task of identifying ramifications and links between the words that they themselves write around a stimulus word that appears at the center of the page. Additional information requested: the elicitation order for the words, which is indicative of their salience and the valence attributed to them in terms of positive/negative/neutral. Such a tool was proposed for three stimulus words: Nation, Europe, World.

b. European Sky Compass, a projective relational tool that, aside from indicating the cardinal points as anchors, does not offer any circumscription of geographic limits, leaves complete liberty to the subjects to represent the relations between themselves, their own country, their own favorite foreign country, Italy and Europe as the subjects effectively imagine them in terms of inclusion, exclusion and proximity. (In the case of the North African sample, France.)

c. Silent Map of Europe, requesting the subjects to draw North-South and East-West axes on a map of Europe in order to express, in their perception, what is Europe’s center of gravity and which countries are included in the four quadrants that they drew with the cardinal axes.

d. Questionnaire, with questions geared towards revealing the most representative countries for the four areas and and their evaluation on an attitude in order to reveal the map of preferred and non-preferred countries.