Adapting a psychological instrument on the “hard-to-survey” population: the case of poor people in Russia



This paper addresses the issue of adapting the instrument on a “hard-to-survey” sample (poor people). The adaptation consisted of three stages: (1) the translation of scales that have not been previously adapted on a Russian sample, (2) cognitive interviews with people living in poverty, (3) adjusting the questionnaire based on the results of cognitive interviews. We used translation — back translation, as well as committee approach, to translate the scales. Cognitive interviews were conducted using a concurrent probing approach with both scripted and spontaneous probes. In the conclusion, we present the results of reliability analysis and equivalence of measures across the poor (N=162) and non-poor (N=188) samples. Finally, we formulate recommendations for researchers dealing with “hard-to-survey” samples among the poor.

General Information

Keywords: poverty, “hard-to-survey” samples, adaptation, translation — back translation, committee approach, cognitive interviews

Journal rubric: Methodological Tools

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Poluektova O.V., Efremova M.V. Adapting a psychological instrument on the “hard-to-survey” population: the case of poor people in Russia. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2018. Vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 179–203. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2018090212. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Olga V. Poluektova, PhD Student, Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences, Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany, e-mail:

Maria V. Efremova, PhD in Psychology, Leading Research Fellow, Center for Socio-Cultural Research, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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