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August 08 , 2008

Social Information Processing and Survey Methodology


Survey researchers have long been aware that the way in which questions are asked determines the obtained responses. However, the exact processes that mediate response effects remained elusive. In the present volume, cognitive psychologists and survey methodologists explore the cognitive processes that underlie respondents' answers to survey questions. The contributors provide an introduction to information processing theories for survey researchers, review current knowledge of response effects in the light of recent theorizing in cognitive psychology, and report a number of experimental studies on question context and question wording. In combination, the chapters provide a theoretical framework for the analysis of response effects in surveys and raise a number of applied and theoretical issues that have so far not been addressed in cognitive psychology.

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