Response styles are distinctive ways of responding to questionnaire surveys that are unrelated to the content of the actual survey items. If the response categories are laid out in terms of amounts of agreement or disagreement, respondents may tend to agree with all the items in a survey, even where the items have meanings that contradict one another. This is known as acquiescence. Alternatively, respondents may favor more extreme responses, agreeing strongly or disagreeing strongly with most items. Finally, some respondents may favor moderate responses to all items. Thus, response styles can also favor either extremity or moderation.
These types of response styles are often referred to as response bias, because it is thought that they reduce the validity of mean scores on ...
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