Event-list construction and treatment of exposure data in research on political violence

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Abstract

Event lists are commonly applied for measuring exposure to various kinds of potentially stressful and traumatizing life events. Before making general conclusions about the psychological effects of exposure to such events, problematic issues related to the use of event-list data need to be discussed and resolved. This article focuses on issues related to the construction and application of event lists for measuring exposure to political violence such as issues related to reliability, the applicability of the additive assumption, whether to weight event-list items, and the possible consequences of incomplete event lists. Alternative future approaches to these measurement issues are also discussed.

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