Calendar Interviewing and the Use of Landmark Events – Implications for Cross-cultural Surveys

Tina Glasner, Wander van der Vaart, Robert F. Belli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This paper discusses potential methodological issues in the design and implementation of calendar recall aids such as the Life History Calendar for cross-cultural surveys. More specifically, it aims to provide insights into how the use of landmark events in calendar interviewing may be influenced by cross-cultural variability. As an example, we compare the landmark events reported by Dutch and American respondents in two studies in which calendar recall aids were used. The study discusses differences that were found between the two countries in the numbers and types of reported landmark events, as well as in the temporal distribution of those events. The outcomes suggest that it is important for researchers to examine how landmark events in calendar instruments translate in diverse cultural contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-52
Number of pages8
JournalBMS Bulletin of Sociological Methodology/ Bulletin de Methodologie Sociologique
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Retrospective questions
  • autobiographical memory
  • cross-cultural surveys
  • life history calendar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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