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Surveys, onesty and all that

August 3, 2008
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The Wall Street journal reports on the onesty of participants of US polls. Especially in the context of race. Suprisingly, there seems to be no evidence of “interviewer effect”: effects of interviewer’s characteristics on interviewee’s responses. As WSJ reports the race of the interviewer does not have any effect on responses on US presidential voting.

During my studies I remember doing some small analyzes based on PGSS in which I analyzed some question on gender roles (like whether or not the family role of a women is to guarantee succesfull career for a man). There were huge differences depending on the gender of the interviewer and gender of the interviewee.

Another interesting point in the WJS article is the issue of anonymity. As researchers from University of Colorado claim, without the anonymity the respondendt feel more accountable for their answers and tend to answer more truthfully.

Perhaps also we should stop doing face-to-face interviews as some studies show, that giving answers to a computer provides more onest results…

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