Self-reported cheating in web surveys on political knowledge

Self-reported cheating in web surveys on political knowledge Measuring citizens’ political knowledge is important for understanding public opinion formation. In view of the increasing popularity of Web surveys, this paper examines the limitations of this interviewing facility when measuring factual political knowledge. We show that Web surveys contain a source of measurement error as respondents can “Google” the correct answers. This cheating activity is our principal concern. Past efforts are extended by: (1) offering a self-reported estimate of the share of Googling cheaters, (2) showing that the positive effect of education on factual political knowledge is most probably underestimated when cheating occurs, and (3) showing that self-reported cheating activity is inversely related to actual response time. In the concluding section, we discuss the implications of these results and the extent to which cheating can be reduced. The empirical analyses are based on a Danish Web sample from 2012 (N $$=$$ = 1,509). http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quality & Quantity Springer Journals

Self-reported cheating in web surveys on political knowledge

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Social Sciences, general; Methodology of the Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general
ISSN
0033-5177
eISSN
1573-7845
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11135-013-9960-z
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Measuring citizens’ political knowledge is important for understanding public opinion formation. In view of the increasing popularity of Web surveys, this paper examines the limitations of this interviewing facility when measuring factual political knowledge. We show that Web surveys contain a source of measurement error as respondents can “Google” the correct answers. This cheating activity is our principal concern. Past efforts are extended by: (1) offering a self-reported estimate of the share of Googling cheaters, (2) showing that the positive effect of education on factual political knowledge is most probably underestimated when cheating occurs, and (3) showing that self-reported cheating activity is inversely related to actual response time. In the concluding section, we discuss the implications of these results and the extent to which cheating can be reduced. The empirical analyses are based on a Danish Web sample from 2012 (N $$=$$ = 1,509).

Journal

Quality & QuantitySpringer Journals

Published: Dec 3, 2013

References

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