The Stability of Individual Response Styles
The current study addresses the stability of individual response styles. In contrast with previous studies, we set up a dedicated data collection, where the same respondents filled out two questionnaires consisting of independent sets of randomly sampled questionnaire items. Between data collections, there was a one year time gap. We simultaneously model four response styles that capture the major directional biases in questionnaire responses: acquiescence, disacquiescence, midpoint and extreme response style. The results provide conclusive evidence that response styles have an important stable component, only a small part of which can be explained by demographics. The meaning and implications of these findings are discussed.
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