On possibilities and limitations of using self-anchoring scales in web surveys

On possibilities and limitations of using self-anchoring scales in web surveys Self-anchoring scales were first mentioned by Kilpatrick and Cantril (J Indiv Psychol 16:158–170, 1960) and Cantril (The pattern of human concerns, 1965) as rating instruments in which the end anchors are defined by the respondent himself, basing on his own assumptions, perceptions, goals and values. The uses of these scales are legion and they have shown to be very useful in reducing measurement bias in cross-cultural research (Cantril, The pattern of human concerns, 1965; Bernheim et al. J. Happiness Stud. 7:227–250, 2006). The first part of the current study investigates whether context effects can be lessened or eliminated by using self-anchoring scales. For this purpose, an experiment similar to the ones by Couper et al. (Public Opin Q 71:623–634, 2004, Public Opin Q 68:255–266, 2007), in which they manipulated images that figured in a web survey, was conducted. The hypothesis that self-anchoring scales can reduce contextual bias, is not supported by our data. The second part of the study investigates if and how self-anchoring scales affect drop-out during the filling-out of questionnaires. It is found that, compared to a regular rating scale, a larger proportion of respondents drop-out. Moreover, subjective preferences for the one or the other scale do not seem to differ. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quality & Quantity Springer Journals

On possibilities and limitations of using self-anchoring scales in web surveys

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Social Sciences; Methodology of the Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general
ISSN
0033-5177
eISSN
1573-7845
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11135-009-9265-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Self-anchoring scales were first mentioned by Kilpatrick and Cantril (J Indiv Psychol 16:158–170, 1960) and Cantril (The pattern of human concerns, 1965) as rating instruments in which the end anchors are defined by the respondent himself, basing on his own assumptions, perceptions, goals and values. The uses of these scales are legion and they have shown to be very useful in reducing measurement bias in cross-cultural research (Cantril, The pattern of human concerns, 1965; Bernheim et al. J. Happiness Stud. 7:227–250, 2006). The first part of the current study investigates whether context effects can be lessened or eliminated by using self-anchoring scales. For this purpose, an experiment similar to the ones by Couper et al. (Public Opin Q 71:623–634, 2004, Public Opin Q 68:255–266, 2007), in which they manipulated images that figured in a web survey, was conducted. The hypothesis that self-anchoring scales can reduce contextual bias, is not supported by our data. The second part of the study investigates if and how self-anchoring scales affect drop-out during the filling-out of questionnaires. It is found that, compared to a regular rating scale, a larger proportion of respondents drop-out. Moreover, subjective preferences for the one or the other scale do not seem to differ.

Journal

Quality & QuantitySpringer Journals

Published: Jul 16, 2009

References

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