Are universally applicable, culture-independent survey questions possible?

Such a goal is probably not achievable across all domains of inquiry. It is probably not even workable for individual domains in many areas, although it is still important to try. Whether or not universal measurement devices (or universally applicable vignettes) can be invented, we still will often want to compare many aspects of health and other concepts across many different places. Our preference for how to do this in most situations is to get it right in specific contexts, and to build up to more generality when possible by comparing across different small sets of areas in separate studies. If we can get measurement right in each of the villages in one set of studies, for example, that may make it more feasible to compare several of these with different villages in different areas, and ultimately as we improve understanding we might be able to make much broader comparisons.

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