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Extreme Response Style

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Edited by: Published: 2008
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Extreme response style (ERS) is the tendency for survey respondents to answer categorical rating scales in the extreme, end-most intervals, across a wide range of item content. ERS can particularly affect surveys that use Likert and semantic differential scales. ERS is a source of survey error that distorts people's true attitudes and opinions. People with relatively higher ERS will tend to have relatively high or low scores, since they tend to mark extreme intervals, while those with low ERS will tend to have more moderate scores. Thus, apparent differences in survey data and observed scores between people or groups can be an artifact caused by differences in their ERS rather than by differences in their true attitudes and opinions. ERS can also distort the relationship ...

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