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Misreporting to looping questions in surveys : recall, motivation and burden

Author

Listed:
  • Eckman, Stephanie

    () (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])

  • Kreuter, Frauke

    () (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])

Abstract

"Looping questions are used to collect data about several similar events, such as employment spells, retirement accounts, or marriages. The questions collect information about the number of events experienced as well as details about each one. The questions require respondents to think hard to recall each event and are often lengthy and repetitive. Looping questions can be asked in two formats, and which format a survey uses may affect the quality of the data collected. We develop theory-based hypotheses about the effects that the choice of format has on measurement error in looping questions and test the hypotheses using experimental data from a recent web survey with a link to administrative records. Results show that one format collects more accurate event reports, but the other format provides higher quality data to the follow up questions. We conclude with guidance for those who write survey questions as well as those who rely on survey data for substantive analyses." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

Suggested Citation

  • Eckman, Stephanie & Kreuter, Frauke, 2015. "Misreporting to looping questions in surveys : recall, motivation and burden," IAB Discussion Paper 201529, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  • Handle: RePEc:iab:iabdpa:201529
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    File URL: http://doku.iab.de/discussionpapers/2015/dp2915.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Katrin Drasch & Britta Matthes, 2013. "Improving retrospective life course data by combining modularized self-reports and event history calendars: experiences from a large scale survey," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 817-838, February.
    2. Susanne Wanger & Roland Weigand & Ines Zapf, 2016. "Measuring hours worked in Germany – Contents, data and methodological essentials of the IAB working time measurement concept
      [Die Berechnung der geleisteten Arbeitsstunden in Deutschland – Inhalte,
      ," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 49(3), pages 213-238, November.
    3. Maike Reimer & Britta Matthes, 2007. "Collecting Event Histories with TrueTales:Techniques to Improve Autobiographical Recall Problems in Standardized Interviews," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 41(5), pages 711-735, October.
    4. Blair, Edward & Burton, Scot, 1987. " Cognitive Processes Used by Survey Respondents to Answer Behavioral Frequency Questions," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 280-288, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fragebogen; Befragung; Antwortverhalten; Meinungsforschung; empirische Sozialforschung; Datenqualität; Ereignisanalyse; Lebenslauf; Berufsverlauf;

    JEL classification:

    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General

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