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Saris, Willem Egbert

Willem Egbert Saris
Faculty of Political and Social Sciences
RECSM Honorary Director


Prof. Saris studied Sociology at the University of Utrecht and received his PhD in Social Sciences from the University of Amsterdam in 1979. He became Full Professor in Political Sciences in 1983, specializing in the methodology of the social sciences. He has taught at the University of Amsterdam (1983-2006), the ESADE School of Business (2005-2009), and Universitat Pompeu Fabra (since 2009). His main specializations are structural equation modelling and the methodology of survey research, fields in which he has published extensively. As a member of the central coordinating team of the European Social Survey he became laureate of the Descartes Research Prize in 2005 for the best scientific collaborative research. In 2009 he received the Helen Dinerman award from the World Association of Public Opinion Research (WAPOR), in recognition to his lifelong contributions to the methodology of public opinion research. In 2011 he received the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Debrecen in Hungary. He is a founding member of the European Survey Research Association (ESRA), of which he was president between 2005 and 2011. In the following video he talks about the start of ESRA: 



Prof. Dr. Willem E. Saris, founder and Senior Researcher of RECSM was awarded the European Survey Research Association's "2013 Outstanding Service Prize" at ESRA's last Conference that took place in Ljubljana, on July 2013. The award is intended to acknowledge sustained and high level contributions of a methodological, substantive, or infrastructural nature.

Willem E. Saris together with Daniel Oberski was awarded the prestigious American Association for Public Opinion Research's Warren J. Mitofsky Innovators Award 2014 for the Survey Quality Predictor  (SQP 2.0) and its Contribution to the Improving Questionnaire Design.  


Publications (most recent)

Kriesi, H. & Saris, W. (2016) The Structure of the Evaluations of Democracy. In M. Ferrín & H. Kriesi (Eds.), How Europeans View and Evaluate Democracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Access to the chapter.  

Kriesi, H., Saris, W., & Moncagatta, P. (2016) The Structure of Europeans' Views of Democracy. Citizens' Models of Democracy. In M. Ferrín & H. Kriesi (Eds.), How Europeans View and Evaluate Democracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Access to the chapter.  

Saris, W., Pirralha, A., Zavala-Rojas, D. (2016). Testing the comparability of different types of Social Indicators across groups. Social Indicators Research. First Online: 28 November 2016. Access to the article. doi:10.1007/s11205-016-1506-z

Saris, W. and Revilla, M. (2016) Correction for measurement errors in survey research: necessary and possible. Social Indicators Research, 127 (3), pp 1005–1020 DOI:

Saris, W. and Gallhofer, I. (2014) "Design, Evaluation, and Analysis of Questionnaires for Survey Research". Wiley Series in Survey Methodology. ISBN-13: 978-1118634615 

Batista-Foguet, J.M,  Revilla, M., Saris, W., Boyatzis, R., and R. Serlavós. (2014). "Reassessing the Effect of Survey Characteristics on Common Method Bias in Emotional and Social Intelligence Competencies Assessment".  Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, Published online: 21 Aug 2014.  DOI: 10.1080/10705511.2014.934767

Weber, W. and  Saris, W. (2014) "The relationship between issues and an individual's left-right orientation" Acta Politica advance online publication, 4 April 2014, doi:10.1057/ap.2014.5. Link:

Revilla, M., Saris, W. and Krosnick, J.A. (2013). "Choosing the number of categories in agree-disagree scales", Sociological Methods and Research. Published online before print December 10, 2013, doi: 10.1177/0049124113509605.

Guillen, L. and Saris, W. (2013) "Competencies, Personality Traits, and Organizational Rewards of Middle Managers: A Motive-Based Approach", Human Performance, 26(1); pp. 66-92.

Kyvik, O.,  Saris, W., Bonet, E. and Felício, J.A. (2013) "The internationalization of small firms: The relationship between the global mindset and firms' internationalization behavior",  Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Published online: 19 April 2013. DOI 10.1007/s10843-013-0105-1 .

Saris, W. (2013) "The prediction of question quality: The SQP 2.0 software", in B. Kleiner, I. Renschler, B. Wernli, P. Farago and D. Joye (eds.) Understanding Research Infrastructures in the Social Sciences. Zurich: Seismo Press; pp. 135-144.

Revilla, M. and Saris, W. (2013). "A comparison of the quality of questions in a face-to-face and a web survey", International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 25(2); pp. 242-253. First published online: April 17, 2012. doi: 10.1093/ijpor/eds007.

Revilla, M. and Saris, W. (2013). "The Split-ballot Multitrait-Multimethod Approach: Implementation and Problems", Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 20(1); pp. 27-46.

Saris, W., Knoppen, D. and Schwartz, S.H. (2013). "Operationalizing the Theory of Human Values: Balancing Homogeneity of Reflective Items and Theoretical Coverage", Survey Research Methods, 7(1); pp. 29-44.

Coromina, L. and Saris, W. (2012) "Measurement of Supranationalism", Survey Research Methods, 6(2); pp. 77-86. (link to publication)

Guillén, L., Coromina, L. and Saris, W. (2011) "Measurement of social participation and its place in social capital theory", Social Indicators Research, 100(2); pp. 331-350.

Oberski, D., Saris, W. and Hagenaars, J.A. (2010) "Categorization Errors and Differences in the Quality of Questions in Comparative Surveys" in J. Harkness, M. Braun, B. Edwards, T. P. Johnson, L. E. Lyberg, P. Ph. Mohler, B. Pennell and T. W. Smith (eds.) Survey Methods in Multinational, Multiregional, and Multicultural Contexts. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Revilla, M. and Saris, W. (2010) "A Comparison of the Quality of ESS Questions in Different Data Collection Modes". Report prepared for the European Social Survey . (.pdf)

Saris, W. and Batista-Foguet, J.M. (2010) "Contactos sociales, confianza social y confianza política en Europa. Medición y relaciones". In M. Torcal (ed.) La ciudadanía europea en el siglo XXI: Estudio comparado de sus actitudes, opinión pública y comportamiento políticos. Madrid: Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas.

Saris, W., Revilla, M., Krosnick, J.A. and Shaeffer, E.M. (2010) "Comparing Questions with Agree/Disagree Response Options to Questions with Item-Specific Response Options", Survey Research Methods, 4(1); pp. 61-79. (link to publication


Research projects (more recent)

"European Social Survey (ESS)-ERIC". (2008-ongoing). Additional information 

"Grant to advise the Panel de Desigualtats". 2010- 2011. Funding: Fundació Jaume Bofill. Code: FJB27102010.