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Edited by: Published: 2008
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Reactivity occurs when the subject of the study (e.g. survey respondent) is affected either by the instruments of the study or the individuals conducting the study in a way that changes whatever is being measured. In survey research, the term reactivity applies when the individual's response is influenced by some part of the survey instrument (e.g. an item on a questionnaire); the interviewer; the survey organization sponsor conducting the study, or both; or the environment where the survey is taking place. For example, the respondent may respond positively or negatively based on the interviewer's reactions to the answer. A smile, nod, frown, or laugh may alter how the subject chooses to respond to subsequent questions. Deliberate or accidental, the actions of the interviewer administering the ...

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