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Response Bias

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Edited by: Published: 2008
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Response bias is a general term that refers to conditions or factors that take place during the process of responding to surveys, affecting the way responses are provided. Such circumstances lead to a nonrandom deviation of the answers from their true value. Because this deviation takes on average the same direction among respondents, it creates a systematic error of the measure, or bias. The effect is analogous to that of collecting height data with a ruler that consistently adds (or subtracts) an inch to the observed units. The final outcome is an overestimation (or underestimation) of the true population parameter. Unequivocally identifying whether a survey result is affected by response bias is not as straightforward as researchers would wish. Fortunately, research shows some conditions under ...

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