Misreporting to Looping Questions in Surveys: Recall, Motivation and Burden

  • Stephanie Eckman RTI International
  • Frauke Kreuter JPSM
Keywords: survey methodology, burden, measurement error, incentives,

Abstract

Looping questions are used to collect data about several similar events, such as employment spells, retirement accounts, or marriages. The loops gather information about the number of events experienced as well as details about each one. The questions require respondents to think hard to recall each event and are often lengthy and repetitive. Looping questions can be asked in two formats, and which format a survey uses may aect the quality of the data collected. We develop hypotheses about the eects of format on measurement error in looping questions and test the hypotheses using experimental data from a web survey with a link to administrative records. Results show that one format collects more accurate event reports, but the other format provides higher quality data to the follow up questions. We conclude with guidance for those who write survey questions as well as those who rely on survey data for substantive analyses.

Author Biography

Stephanie Eckman, RTI International
Fellow RTI International
Published
2018-04-12
How to Cite
Eckman, S., & Kreuter, F. (2018). Misreporting to Looping Questions in Surveys: Recall, Motivation and Burden. Survey Research Methods, 12(1), 59-74. https://doi.org/10.18148/srm/2018.v12i1.7168
Section
Articles