On the linguistic challenges of cross-national research in thermal comfort: The effects of language choices in Greek and Swedish thermal perception questionnaires used in two large-scale surveys conducted two decades apart
Paper i proceeding, 2020
Recent analyses on translations of the widely used ASHRAE scale have highlighted differences between the interpretation of thermal perception scales attributed to contextual factors. This study examines the influence of language choices for thermal perception scale anchors used in questionnaire studies. It focuses on the translations of the subjective scales for thermal perception in the Swedish and Greek languages, which differed between the two surveys. The first set of translations and datasets belongs to the Smart Controls And Thermal Comfort project whilst the second set belongs to the surveys conducted within the framework of the International Energy Agency - Energy in Buildings and Communities Program Annex 69 “Strategy and Practice of Adaptive Thermal Comfort in Low Energy Buildings”. This paper presents the findings of a comparative analysis between the two datasets in relation to the wording of the scales and the resulting category widths. The method of successive categories is used to estimate the psychological widths of the scale categories in order to examine the scales’ behaviour. The paper discusses linguistic and climatic factors that may influence the way the translations are perceived and used.