The impact of question and scale characteristics on scale direction effect

Yan, Ting ; Keusch, Florian ; He, Lirui

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Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2018
The title of a journal, publication series: Survey Practice
Volume: 11
Issue number: 2
Page range: Article 8
Place of publication: Oakbrook Terrace, IL
Publishing house: American Association for Public Opinion Research
ISSN: 2168-0094
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Social Sciences > Statistik u. Sozialwiss. Methodenlehre (Juniorprofessur) (Keusch 2016-2021)
Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > Mannheim Centre for European Social Research - Research Department A
Subject: 300 Social sciences, sociology, anthropology
Abstract: Scale direction effects refer to the impact on survey responses of the direction in which a response scale is presented or read, holding other scale features constant. Scale direction tends to produce primacy effects. However, empirical research on scale direction effects turns up mixed evidence – scale direction effects are observed in some studies on some items, but not in other studies for other items. As a result, it is not clear under what circumstances scale direction effects can be expected. It is also unclear what questions are more prone to scale direction effects and what scale features induce or reduce scale direction effects. This paper advances the literature by examining empirically the impact of two question level characteristics (i.e., type of survey questions and location of questions in the questionnaire) and two scale features (i.e., type of response scales and the number of scale points) on scale direction effects. We found that scale direction effects are stronger for non-attitudinal items, earlier survey items, and items with longer scales. In addition, the moderating impact of question type, question location, and scale length on scale direction effects is more pronounced for items administered via Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing than in self-administration. These findings have important implications for designing response scales in surveys.
Additional information: Online-Ressource

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.

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ORCID: Yan, Ting ; Keusch, Florian ORCID: 0000-0003-1002-4092 ; He, Lirui

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