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Survey Questions, Design of

By: Wiebke Weber, Irmtraud Gallhofer & Willem Saris | Edited by: Paul Atkinson, Sara Delamont, Alexandru Cernat, Joseph W. Sakshaug & Richard A. Williams Published: 2020 | Length:   5 | DOI: |
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Immediately after George Gallup published his first opinion poll in the United States during the Second World War, a discussion started about the quality of the questions for capturing the opinions one wanted to measure. This is not surprising because a survey question has many different aspects, and as this entry will show, all can influence the answers obtained. In experiments with various forms of questions, it became clear that one could get rather different answers based on the characteristics of the questions. Later discussions considered whether more precise information concerning opinions could be obtained through increasing the number of answer categories or even using continuous scales.

Useful tools to study the quality of questions came from statistics, in the form of models that could estimate ...

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