Methodology

The scope of the SCORE Index is to examine the relationships within and between ethnic, religious, and other social groups in contexts where peaceful coexistence between these groups had been or still is at stake.

The backbone of the SCORE Index is a carefully designed questionnaire whose main structure and content is constant across countries but which is calibrated to meet the idiosyncratic differences of each context. SCORE’s questionnaire is administered face-to-face in the mother tongue of the participants by researchers who are also native speakers. To ensure the accuracy of the data collected, representative samples of each ethnic group in a particular context are recruited. Representative sampling ensures that we get the most accurate, valid, and reliable snapshot of what the intra- and inter-group relations are at a specific point in time for each ethnic group.

The core dimensions of the SCORE Index are social cohesion and reconciliation and as such they are measured in every context the SCORE is rolled out in. Dimensions are abstract constructs and not observed behaviours that can be directly measured. It is therefore hard to come up with a single question that captures social cohesion or reconciliation. This is because both social cohesion and reconciliation are composed of a number of smaller scale dimensions. We refer to these second-order dimensions as Indicators. One can see while navigating the SCORE platform that social cohesion and reconciliation are made up of a number of indicators. Some of these indicators are invariant (e.g. civic life satisfaction, human security, and trust in institutions for example are the constant indicators of social cohesion, whereas negative stereotypes, intergroup anxiety, social distance and social threats are the constant indicators of reconciliation) and some vary between different versions of SCORE. For example, in the case of SCORE Cyprus where the Index was used for two consecutive years (2013 and 2014), SCORE 2014 differed from SCORE 2013 in that it also measured freedom from corruption as a social cohesion component. Additionally, SCORE Bosnia differs from SCORE Cyprus in that it includes feelings towards other groups as a reconciliation component.

Indicators, however, are in most cases abstract and multi-dimensional constructs too (albeit of lesser complexity) and they have to be measured through more than one item. Items or sub-indicators are essentially the questions in the SCORE questionnaire.

Therefore, the findings of the SCORE research stem from a careful analysis of the relationships between dimensions (with social cohesion and reconciliation being the two core dimensions), the indicators that make up these dimensions and their sub-indicators which are measured through questionnaire items.

Navigation tip: If you want to explore the structure of each of the dimensions measured by score in different contexts you can select the dimension and indicator of your interest from the main selection panel and then select the indicator details visualization from the sidebar menu. This will provide you with a diagram outlining which indicators make up the dimension and which sub-indicators make up each indicator. If you want to explore the relationships between the indicators that are making up each dimension, then select the indicator correlations visualization from the sidebar menu. This will provide you with a diagram showing how each indicator relates to all other indicators.

All scores presented on the SCORE platform represent scores of Dimensions or Indicators. These scores range from zero (0) to ten (10). What each value means depends on the valence of the indicators. For example, the ‘Social threats’ indicator measures the perception of threat felt by one group in relation to another group. Scoring high on this indicator means higher perceptions of threat. More concretely, a score of 8 for Group A in the ‘Social Threats’ indicator suggests that Group A feel very threatened by Group B. In contrast, a score of 2 suggests that the perceived threat is low. Alternatively, a Reconciliation score of 8 for Group A shows very high propensity for reconciliation with Group B whereas a score of 2 indicates essentially no desire for reconciliation.

Scores are available not only for the general ethnic groups in a population (e.g., Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots), but also for different regions in a country or context as well as for different demographic characteristics within each ethnic group based on age, gender, education, and political orientation.

Navigation tip: If you want to explore the regional scores for a particular group please select the desired option in the main selection panel and click the update button. The map will be refreshed and present you with the scores for your selection. If you want to explore the scores for different demographic groups, you can select the ‘Compare Groups’ visualization from the sidebar menu. Then you can choose from a drop-down menu the demographic characteristic which interests you and you will be provided with the corresponding charts. For examples, if you have selected human security as your indicator and the Bosniak community as your group, you can use this visualization to see the scores for human security for both men and women in the Bosniak community.

This section provides a preview of the methodology used for the SCORE research. To explore the SCORE methodology in more detail, you can download the full version.

If you want to read a more in-depth theoretical analysis of the main social cohesion and reconciliation indicators, you can download our extended analysis.