A bogus question (also called a fictitious question) is one that asks about something that does not exist. It is included in a survey questionnaire to help the researcher estimate the extent to which respondents are providing ostensibly substantive answers to questions they cannot know anything about, because it does not exist. Bogus questions are a valuable way for researchers to gather information to help understand the nature and size of respondent-related measurement error.

Examples of how a researcher can use a bogus question abound, but they are especially relevant to surveys that measure recognition of, or past experience with, people, places, or things. For example, in pre-election polls at the time of the primaries, candidate name recognition is critical for understanding the intentions of voters. ...

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