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A Taste for Consistency and Survey Response Behavior

Author

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  • Armin Falk
  • Florian Zimmermann

Abstract

This article studies how a taste for consistency affects decision making. Our application is response behavior in surveys. In particular, we show that the inclusion of questions can affect answers to subsequent related questions. The reason is that participants want to respond in a consistent way. Studying three different surveys, we find a systematic effect of the inclusion of additional questions. The effects are large and reveal how easy survey responses can be manipulated. For example, we find that a subtle manipulation reduced the number of people who agreed that a murderer should be imprisoned for the rest of his life by more than 20 percentage points. (JEL codes: C83, C91, D03) Copyright The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Ifo Institute, Munich. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Armin Falk & Florian Zimmermann, 2013. "A Taste for Consistency and Survey Response Behavior," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 59(1), pages 181-193, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:59:y:2013:i:1:p:181-193
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cesifo/ifs039
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:itaxpf:v:24:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s10797-017-9474-z is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:jeborg:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:348-367 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Gari Walkowitz & Arne R. Weiss, 2014. ""Read my Lips!" Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Electoral Competition on Shirking and Trust," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 05-07, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
    4. Leonardo Becchetti & Vittorio Pelligra & Tommaso Reggiani, 2017. "Information, belief elicitation and threshold effects in the 5X1000 tax scheme: a framed field experiment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 24(6), pages 1026-1049, December.
    5. Erte Xiao & Daniel Houser, 2014. "Sign Me Up! A Model and Field Experiment on Volunteering," Working Papers 1043, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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