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MTurk Survey on "Mood and Personality". Documentation


  • Marc Höglinger


  • Ben Jann



Social desirability and the fear of negative consequences often deter a considerable share of survey respondents from responding truthfully to sensitive questions. Thus, resulting prevalence estimates are biased. Indirect techniques for surveying sensitive questions such as the Randomized Response Technique are intended to mitigate misreporting by providing complete concealment of individual answers. However, it is far from clear whether these indirect techniques actually produce more valid measurements than standard direct questioning. In order to evaluate the validity of different sensitive question techniques we carried out an online validation experiment at Amazon Mechanical Turk in which respondents' self-reports of norm-breaking behavior (cheating in dice games) were validated against observed behavior. This document describes the design of the validation experiment and provides details on the questionnaire, the different sensitive question technique implementations, the field work, and the resulting dataset. The appendix contains a codebook of the data and facsimiles of the questionnaire pages and other survey materials.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc Höglinger & Ben Jann, 2016. "MTurk Survey on "Mood and Personality". Documentation," University of Bern Social Sciences Working Papers 17, University of Bern, Department of Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:bss:wpaper:17

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Horton & David Rand & Richard Zeckhauser, 2011. "The online laboratory: conducting experiments in a real labor market," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(3), pages 399-425, September.
    2. Urs Fischbacher & Franziska Föllmi-Heusi, 2013. "Lies In Disguise—An Experimental Study On Cheating," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 525-547, June.
    3. Andreas Diekmann, 2012. "Making Use of “Benford’s Law†for the Randomized Response Technique," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 41(2), pages 325-334, May.
    4. Marc Höglinger & Ben Jann & Andreas Diekmann, 2014. "Online Survey on "Exams and Written Papers". Documentation," University of Bern Social Sciences Working Papers 8, University of Bern, Department of Social Sciences, revised 06 Oct 2014.
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    More about this item


    Online Survey; Amazon Mechanical Turk; Sensitive Questions; Randomized Response Technique; Crosswise Model; Dice Game; Validation;

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods

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