Citizens from East- and West-Germany as reflected in three questionnaires. Primary data.

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Becker, Peter
Hänsgen, Klaus-Dieter
Lindinger, Elisabeth


Dataset Information

Title Citizens from East- and West-Germany as reflected in three questionnaires. Primary data.
Original Title Ostdeutsche und Westdeutsche im Spiegel dreier Fragebogentests. Primärdaten.
Citation Becker, P., Hänsgen, K.-D., & Lindinger, E. (2004). Citizens from East- and West-Germany as reflected in three questionnaires. Primary data. [Translated Title] (Version 1.0.0) [Data and Documentation]. Trier: Center for Research Data in Psychology: PsychData of the Leibniz Institute for Psychology ZPID.
Language of variable documentation German
Responsible for Data Collection Becker, Peter
Data Collection Completion Date 1991
Dataset Publication 2004
Dataset ID brpr91os99
Study Description The present study is devoted to two issues:
(1) Did the socialist system of the former German Democratic Republic affect the East German population to the extent that systematic differences in personality are evident in comparison to West Germans?
(2) Did the dramatic changes in living conditions following reunification lead to health problems in East German citizens?
Data were collected using the following questionnaires: The Berliner Verfahren zur Neurosendiagnostik (BVND, a test for neuroses diagnostics), the Trier Personality Questionnaire (TPI), and the Trierer Inventar zur Verhaltenskontrolle (TIV, an inventory assessing control of behavior). 598 subjects were examined, including 300 from eastern Germany and 298 from western Germany, with an equal distribution between the sexes. The internal consistencies of the utilized scales displayed high reliability for use in group comparisons. In a principal components analysis, four main sources of variance were identified: (1) general mental and physical complaints, (2) behavioral control, (3) activity level, and (4) sociability and a three-factor analysis of variance was calculated using the factors of "country" (East, West), "gender", and "age" (three levels).
Regarding factor 1: Contrary to expectations, an overall significantly higher psychosomatic stress level in East Germans could not be established, even though this was the case in individual scales (higher anxiety potential, greater feelings of uncertainty, fatigue, and nervousness among East Germans).
Regarding factor 2: Here, the clearest and most consistent differences were found: East Germans' behavior is more controlled than that of West Germans.
Hypotheses -
Keyphrase the study compares the scores of 298 adults from West Germany and 300 adults from East Germany in the scales of three multidimensional personality inventories: Trier Personality Inventory, Trier Behavior Control Inventory (Version 2), Berlin Inventory for the Assessment of Neurotic Tendencies, primary data
Funding Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung
Rating The internal consistency of all scales was calculated and, with the exception of a few, proved to be satisfactory or good.
File Access Criteria

Data files and additional material that belong to access category 1indication of an academic email account and the intended use


PSYNDEX Classification and Controlled Terms

Classification Personality Scales & Inventories
Clinical Psychological Testing
Personality Traits & Processes
Psychological & Physical Disorders
Controlled Terms Personality Traits
Personality Measures
Cross Cultural Psychology
Mental Health
Human Sex Differences
Age Differences
Physical Comfort
Data Collection


Research Method Description

Research Method Description Questionnaire Data
Classification of Data Collection Fully Standardized Survey Instrument (provides question formulation and answer options)
Research Instrument The Trier Personality Inventory (TPI) was developed primarily for the diagnosis of mental health and its subcomponents. Mental health is a broadly varying, well-replicable "super construct" of personality. In short, it is the ability to cope with external and internal demands. 120 statements about specific behaviors, thoughts, feelings, and attitudes are presented. The subjects rate these statements using a 4-point scale, indicating the statement's prevalence. The "Berlin Procedure for the Diagnosis of Neuroses" (Berliner Verfahren zur Neurosendiagnostik, BVND) is used to record complaints and self-concept characteristics pertaining to the experience of psychosocial disorders. Subjects are presented with 300 statements about certain behaviors, characteristics, and symptoms that allow them to identify their condition using a 5-point response scale. The "Trier Inventory for Behavioral Control" (Trierer Inventar zur Verhaltenskontrolle, TIV) is used primarily to measure the overall personality structure of control as well as its various components. 120 statements about certain behaviors, feelings, and thoughts of each subject can be assessed with regard to their frequency of occurrence using a 4-point response scale. Survey data collection takes place in the absence of the experimenter and the completed questionnaire is subsequently collected by the experimenter.
Data Collection Method Data collection in the absence of an experimenter
Mail Survey
Time Points single measurement
Survey Time Period 1991
Characteristics -
Population East and West German adults
Experimental Pool Individuals
Sample 50 students majoring in psychology at the University of Trier and the Humboldt University of Berlin were hired as project staff and were carefully instructed, both orally and in writing, of their duties. Each project team member was to recruit 6 people who had specific characteristics: 3 men and 3 women put into groups of 2 (1 man, 1 woman) aged 18-35 years, 36-50 years, and 51-65 years. A maximum of 1 person with a German high school diploma and a maximum of 1 personal relative were allowed. The population of each German state was taken into consideration using a quota key.
Subject Recruitment The subjects were recruited by previously selected project staff. Both staff and project subjects were given monetary compensation for their participation. Each staff member's specific approach was monitored through random checks.
Sample Size 598 Individuals
Return/Drop Out -
Gender Distribution 49,8 % female subjects (n=298)
50,2 % male subjects (n=300)
Age Distribution 18-69 years
Special Groups -
Country Germany
Region -
City -
Variables Subject ID, Participants' demographic variables based on their respective East or West German origins (gender, age, school education, marital status, number of subjects in household, occupation, income, place of residence, political party preference, opinion of German reunification).
The Trier Personality Inventory (TPI) with the scales behavioral control, mental health, meaningfulness vs depressiveness, allocentricity vs self-centering, nervousness vs no nervousness, expansiveness, autonomy, self-esteem, and the ability to love.
"Berlin Procedure for the Diagnosis of Neuroses" (Berliner Verfahren zur Neurosendiagnostik, BVND) with scales that evaluated specific physical functioning problems, indigestion, cardiovascular disorders, overall physical sensitivity complaints, motor functioning symptoms, nonspecific well-being complaints, psychovegetative exhaustion, agitation and tension, sleep disturbances, self-esteem issues, lack-of-achievement feelings, specific psychological problems, compulsive disorders, undirected/generalized anxiety, phobic disorders, discomfort during social communication, cognitive and social activity, need for control/spontaneity, social orientation vs selfishness, self-confidence, frustration tolerance and affectivity, willingness to risk health, ability to adapt and empathize, openness, and exaggeration. "Trier Inventory for Behavioral Control" (Trierer Inventar zur Verhaltenskontrolle, TIV) with the scales behavior control, striving for order and principled living, adherence to norms, reliability, future and reason orientation, thrift, exuberance, desire for experience, and delight in improvising.


Data Status

Data Status Complete Data Set
Original Records Questionnaire filled out by either the subject or the experimenter containing closed and/or open answers
Transformation The data matrix was created by transferring the information from the questionnaire into numerical values using simple encoding guidelines. The data were subjected to a consistency check. This data matrix (brpr91os99_pd.txt) along with the associated codebook (brpr91os99_kb.txt) is provided. The data matrix was subject to broad aggregations. 3 tests were used: a reencoding was required for 63 items of the TPI, and these items were combined into 9 scales. A reencoding was required for 26 items of BVND, and these items were combined into 26 scales. A reencoding was required for 16 items of the TIV, and these data were combined into 9 scales. The transformation instructions (brpr91os99_aa.txt) as well as the accompanying data matrix are provided (brpr91os99_ad.txt).


Description of the Provided Data

Description Primary study data
File Name brpr91os99_pd.txt
Data Content 598 subjects, 564 variables
Data Points 598*564=337272 data points
Variables Subject ID (1), demographic variables (16), items of TPI (120), items of BVND (300), items of the TIV (120), demographic variables (7)
MD5 Hash 541078f7a05f9a1df2b9d3a2c9be355f
File Access Criteria access category 1indication of an academic email account and the intended use
Description Primary study data and derived data
File Name brpr91os99_ad.txt
Data Content 598 subjects, 735 variables
Data Points 598*735 = 439530 data points
Variables Subject ID (1), demographic variables (15), items of TPI (120), items of BVND (300), items of the TIV (120), demographic variables (19), scales of BVND (26), scales of the TPI (9), scales of the TIV (10), inverted TPI Items (63), inverted BVND items (36), inverted TIV items (16)
MD5 Hash a2f5c06401642d6c30a0ab6b0289a57a
File Access Criteria access category 1indication of an academic email account and the intended use


Description of Additional Materials

Description File Name
German codebook of primary study data brpr91os99_pd.txt br91pros99_kb.txt
Instructions for the formation of a primary dataset from the derived data brpr91os99_pd.txt brpr91os99_aa.txt


Publications Directly Related to the Dataset

Publications Directly Related to the Dataset
Becker, P. (1992). Ostdeutsche und Westdeutsche auf dem Prüfstand psychologischer Tests. Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte. Beilage der Wochenzeitung Das Parlament. B24, 5. Juni 1992, 27-36.
Becker, P., Hänsgen, K. D. & Krieger, W. (1994). Persönlichkeitsvergleich von Ost- und Westdeutschen in Indikatoren der seelischen Gesundheit und der Verhaltenskontrolle. Report Psychologie, 19, 28-32 und 41.Datensatz 0082439
Becker, P., Hänsgen, K. D. & Lindinger, E. (1991). Ostdeutsche und Westdeutsche im Spiegel dreier Fragebogentests (Trierer Psychologische Berichte, Band 18, Heft 3). Universität Trier. Fachbereich I - Psychologie.Datensatz 0056515
Hänsgen, K. D., Kasielke, E., Schmidt, L. R. & Schwenkmezger, P. (1991). Persönlichkeitsvergleiche zwischen Ostdeutschen und Westdeutschen: Selbsteinschätzungen, Objektive Tests und neuroserelevante Persönlichkeitsmerkmale. (Trierer Psychologische Berichte, Band 18, Heft 9). Universität Trier. Fachbereich I - Psychologie. Datensatz 0062420


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