J. van Heerden
- Response preference as a function of instructions in an unstructured questionnaire.
- Perceptual and Motor Skills
- Volume | Issue number
- 50 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
J. Van Heerden and J. Hoogstraten (see record 1980-22512-001) reported that in responding to a questionnaire containing no questions but merely indicating possibilities, people show clear preference for certain options over others. The present study with 235 college students attempted to replicate these findings. Ss completed a 10-item questionnaire under 1 of 4 instructions. Data indicate that the response bias found in the Van Heerden/Hoogstraten study was confirmed and is interpreted to be due primarily to preference for positive options over negative or neutral options. Data also indicate that instructional content may affect Ss' preferences. Three of the 10 items showed such an effect (i.e., more balanced distribution was reached, leaving order of preference unchanged). On only 1 item was a reversal of preference obtained by varying the type of response mentioned in the instruction.
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