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Empirical indicators of survey satisfying: do they measure what we think they do?

Empirical indicators of survey satisfying: do they measure what we think they do?
Empirical indicators of survey satisfying: do they measure what we think they do?
According to Krosnick's influential account, survey satisficing occurs when a respondent decides to use a lower level of cognitive effort in order to provide a satisfactory but less accurate answer than would have been produced if a greater amount of effort had been expended on the task. Satisficing theory has rapidly become the dominant framework in survey methodology for assessing response quality, with an increasing number of studies seeking to understand the causes and consequences of the decision to take cognitive shortcuts. However, the utility of commonly used empirical indicators of satisficing for assessing the accuracy and completeness of response data is open to question, because their prevalence is likely to be related to a range of factors, in addition to a respondent's decision to shortcut. In this paper, we use response latencies to assess whether Don't Know and rounded responses take, on average, less time for respondents to produce, as should be expected if these response styles reflect respondent decisions to minimize cognitive costs. Our analyses reveal, however, that both types of response were associated with significantly longer response latencies. This suggests that caution must be exercised in the selection of empirical indicators of survey satisficing behavior.
2325-0984
89-108
Turner, Gosia
4068ee9e-7be7-49a9-ae4b-33844e95a211
Sturgis, Patrick
b9f6b40c-50d2-4117-805a-577b501d0b3c
Martin, David
e5c52473-e9f0-4f09-b64c-fa32194b162f
Turner, Gosia
4068ee9e-7be7-49a9-ae4b-33844e95a211
Sturgis, Patrick
b9f6b40c-50d2-4117-805a-577b501d0b3c
Martin, David
e5c52473-e9f0-4f09-b64c-fa32194b162f

Turner, Gosia, Sturgis, Patrick and Martin, David (2015) Empirical indicators of survey satisfying: do they measure what we think they do? Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology, 3 (1), 89-108. (doi:10.1093/jssam/smu022).

Record type: Article

Abstract

According to Krosnick's influential account, survey satisficing occurs when a respondent decides to use a lower level of cognitive effort in order to provide a satisfactory but less accurate answer than would have been produced if a greater amount of effort had been expended on the task. Satisficing theory has rapidly become the dominant framework in survey methodology for assessing response quality, with an increasing number of studies seeking to understand the causes and consequences of the decision to take cognitive shortcuts. However, the utility of commonly used empirical indicators of satisficing for assessing the accuracy and completeness of response data is open to question, because their prevalence is likely to be related to a range of factors, in addition to a respondent's decision to shortcut. In this paper, we use response latencies to assess whether Don't Know and rounded responses take, on average, less time for respondents to produce, as should be expected if these response styles reflect respondent decisions to minimize cognitive costs. Our analyses reveal, however, that both types of response were associated with significantly longer response latencies. This suggests that caution must be exercised in the selection of empirical indicators of survey satisficing behavior.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 5 December 2014
Published date: 2015
Organisations: Social Statistics & Demography, Geography & Environment

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 383780
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/383780
ISSN: 2325-0984
PURE UUID: 03759d33-8505-49c6-880d-29da5528d9c7
ORCID for Patrick Sturgis: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1180-3493
ORCID for David Martin: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0397-0769

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Apr 2016 09:43
Last modified: 15 Jan 2019 01:33

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Contributors

Author: Gosia Turner
Author: Patrick Sturgis ORCID iD
Author: David Martin ORCID iD

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