By Jörg Blasius
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Extra resources for Assessing the Quality of Survey Data
Indd 27 27 25/01/2012 10:03:54 AM In one of several studies that incorporated experimental design features, Krosnick et al. (2002) presented respondents with possible plans that would prevent future oil spills. Respondents were asked to vote on the plan, whose cost per person was randomly assigned to vary between $10 and $120. Respondents were also randomly assigned to voting method, with half dropping their vote in a sealed envelope in a box (anonymous condition) and the other half reporting their vote to the interviewer (accountable condition).
Since it usually takes more time to complete difficult tasks, this finding may be an indirect manifestation of greater task difficulty. indd 28 ASSESSING THE QUALITY OF SURVEY DATA 25/01/2012 10:03:54 AM number of labelled response options. Recent research indicates that, if Likert response formats are used, seven-point response options yield optimal criterion validity (Malhotra, Krosnick and Thomas, 2009). , 2010). Holbrook, Cho and Johnson (2006: 569) designed a study in which they followed up each survey question with a series of probes.
Task difficulty (measured as number of letters per word and number of words per sentence) predicted the magnitude of response order effect. 5 percentage point greater response order effect. They also documented that questions occurring later in the survey were more susceptible to response order effects than those that occurred earlier. This finding is at odds with that of Bishop and Smith’s (2001) meta-analysis of earlier Gallup surveys. The discrepancy in findings is likely due to the fact that the earlier studies were much shorter.
Assessing the Quality of Survey Data by Jörg Blasius