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Effects of visual and aural communication of categorical response options on answers to survey questions

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  • Lynn, Peter
  • Hope, Steven
  • Jäckle, Annette
  • Campanelli, Pamela C.
  • Nicolaas, Gerry

Abstract

Whether questions and answers are transmitted between interviewer and respondent by visual or aural communication can affect the responses given. We hypothesise that communication channel can affect either the respondents understanding of the question or the tendency to satisfice. These effects may be mediated by the cognitive ability and motivation of the respondent and by the type and difficulty of the question. We test our hypotheses using data from a large-scale controlled experiment. We find support for the notion that visual presentation improves understanding of the question and reduces the tendency to satisfice. We also find that effects are stronger for respondents of higher cognitive ability and for motivated respondents.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series ISER Working Paper Series with number 2012-21.

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Date of creation: 05 Oct 2012
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Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2012-21

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Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
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Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
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  1. repec:ese:iserwp:2011-07 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. SC Noah Uhrig & Emanuela Sala, 2011. "When Change Matters: An Analysis of Survey Interaction in Dependent Interviewing on the British Household Panel Study," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 40(2), pages 333-366, May.
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