Surveying Sensitive Issues: Challenges and Solutions 2
|Convenor||Mr Marc Hoeglinger (ETH Zurich )|
|Coordinator 1||Professor Andreas Diekmann (ETH Zurich)|
|Coordinator 2||Professor Ben Jann (University of Bern)|
Prospects and problems of the crosswise model as an alternative to the randomized response technique will be investigated using data of the recent ISRD (International Self-Report Delinquency) study. The paper illustrates the application of the crosswise model in national comparative research for estimating cultural differences in social desirable responding. Results show that using estimates of true answers may result in considerably higher prevalence rates and different causal models of delinquent behavior. Suggestions for improving the method will be discussed.
The crosswise model is a rather new method developed to eliminate effects of social desirability when sensitive questions are assessed in surveys. While first empirical studies found it promising, we present a survey experiment based on a general population sample, in which we overcome common limitations of previous research on the topic. By assessing socially desirable instead of negatively connoted behavior, we can clearly distinguish if higher prevalence rates are driven by honest answers or by the respondents’ tendency to select answers randomly. Our results to some extent limit the positive reception the crosswise model has received so far.
This paper analyzes effects of the survey sponsor on respondents’ answers about their attitudes toward ethnic minorities and the processes responsible for this effect. In a split ballot experiment the survey sponsor was either a university or a commercial marketing research firm, and subjects were assigned to an interviewer- or a self-administrated mode of data collection. Respondents from a random probability sample (N=218) answered the blatant- and subtle-prejudice scales after being randomly assigned to one of the four experimental conditions. University sponsorship provoked more positive racial attitude answers. This was only found for the blatant-prejudice scale.
Evidence suggests that asking about future intentions to get screened for colorectal cancer (CRC) before the actual question about past screening behavior increases the accuracy of self-reports, possibly because respondents are under less social pressure to over-report in this context. We describe the results of two experiments that investigate this, along with survey mode (mail vs. telephone), on self-reported CRC screening accuracy. We found that asking about future intentions significantly lowered reports of past CRC screening in one experiment but not the other. We also observed variable impact of survey mode. Possible reasons for this will be
Interviewer characteristics and interactions with respondents in face-to-face surveys can lead to measurement errors. In interview situations, social desirability bias concerning sensitive questions is also a source of error. We investigate whether homosociality, the tendency to want to interacting with similar people, e.g. similar education level, leads to less error in sensitive questions about income, voting behaviour, political affiliation, and (mental) health issues in the Belgian data of ESS6. Although for some sensitive questions socio-demographic mismatch did not cause much 'noise', some interesting differences in item non-response and interviewer variance are found.