GESIS Training Courses

Administrative Koordination

Loretta Langendörfer M.A.
Tel: +49-221-47694-143

Factorial Survey Experiments

Prof. Dr. Katrin Auspurg, Dr. Carsten Sauer

Datum: 06.12 - 08.12.2017 ics-Datei

Veranstaltungsort: Cologne


The factorial survey (“vignette analysis”) is a method that integrates multi-factorial experimental set-ups into surveys. Respondents are asked to evaluate fictitious situations, objects or persons. By systematically varying attributes of the descriptions it is possible to determine their influence on respondents' stated attitudes, decisions, or choices. The experimental variation of stimuli allows estimating the influence of each attribute on the evaluation; the factorial survey is therefore an instrument to test theoretical predictions. As the experiment is embedded in a survey questionnaire, it is possible to reach heterogeneous sample populations. This course gives a theoretical and practical overview of factorial survey methods. Participants will get practical insights into the most important steps necessary to design factorial survey experiments: (1) construction of vignettes, (2) selection of an experimental design, (3) overview on survey-modes, (4) data analysis techniques (such as multilevel analyses, estimations of willingness to pay). Participants may select a research question related to their own research for practical exercises. For most practical analyses the statistical software package Stata will be used (prior knowledge needed). For setting up experimental designs and programming of questionnaires we use the software packages SAS (no prior knowledge is needed). The method is NOT connected to (confirmatory or explorative) factor analysis. Moreover, the course does not include anchoring and video vignettes.


Participants will find the course useful if they:
  • want to learn about survey-experimental designs to study attitudes or decisions
  • have initial ideas for their own research questions that could be realized by means of a factorial survey;
  • plan to conduct a factorial survey in their projects;
  • want to deepen their knowledge of experimental designs and quantitative statistical methods;
  • want to learn how to analyse data from experimental designs and factorial surveys and evaluate the quality of such data.


By the end of the course participants will:
  • have learned and discussed the features, typical applications, advantages, and shortcomings of factorial survey methods; 
  • have acquired practical insights into the most important steps that are needed to set up factorial survey designs, to analyse resulting data, and report   on results.


Participants should be familiar with the statistical software package Stata before the course starts (i.e. use of do-files, standard commands)
  • Participants should have basic knowledge of questionnaire designs and experimental methods.
  • Methodical knowledge of data management and quantitative data analyses (e.g. linear regression techniques, coding of variables, merging of data sets).



Referenteninformationen - Prof. Dr. Katrin Auspurg

Referenteninformationen - Dr. Carsten Sauer

Weitere Informationen