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Overreporting

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Edited by: Published: 2008
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In many surveys, respondents tend to report more socially desired behaviors than they actually performed. In addition to this type of misreporting—called "overreporting"—respondents are also inclined to understate that they have engaged in socially undesirable behaviors, which is called "underreporting." Similar to underreporting, overreporting is assumed to be connected to social desirability bias and thus occurs on the cognitive editing stage of the question-answer process.

Among other topics, overreporting of voting and being registered to vote has been in the focus of methodological research for decades. Since respondents in national- and state-level and local election polls tend to overly state that they have voted in the election, voter turnout has traditionally been overestimated. Usually, overreporting is identified applying post-survey validations using record checks (like in the ...

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