Telescoping describes a phenomenon that threatens the validity of self-reported dates, durations, and frequencies of events. Respondents often are asked in surveys to retrospectively report when something occurred, how long something lasted, or how often something happened within a certain time period. For example, health surveys often ask respondents the date of the last time, how often, or how many days they were hospitalized during the last calendar year. Answering this type of question requires the respondent to remember exact dates and temporal sequences and to determine whether an event happened within a certain time period. At this stage of the response process, dates or events can be forgotten entirely or "telescoped" forward or backward. While forgetting describes not remembering an event at all, telescoping ...
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