Non-Compliance with Indirect Questioning Techniques:

An Aggregate and Individual Level Validation


  • Thomas Krause University of Stuttgart
  • Andreas Wahl University of Stuttgart



strong validation, crosswise model, triangular model, randomized response technique, compliance, indirect questioning techniques


Indirect questioning techniques are widely discussed and used as methods to avoid or reduce the effects of social desirability in interview situations on sensitive topics. Nevertheless, current evaluation studies suggest that indirect questioning techniques have a bigger compliance problem than evaluation studies based on the "more is-better" principle would suggest. In our study, we investigate the extent to which question compliance problems can be identified for a variant of the Randomized Response Technique, for the Crosswise Model and Triangular Model. By means of an aggregate and an individual level validation, we examine the response patterns of the participants. Contrary to the actual empirical application context of sensitive topics, we use a non-sensitive question that cannot be distorted by social desirability bias. The resulting "same-is-best" rationale differs from most evaluation studies to date, which work according to the "more" or "less-is-better" principle. Our analyses are based on the data of a convenience sample of 1277 students in the form of an online survey experiment. The results suggest that the indirect questioning techniques show substantial weaknesses in terms of compliance and encourage further individual level evaluations.


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How to Cite

Krause, T., & Wahl, A. (2022). Non-Compliance with Indirect Questioning Techniques:: An Aggregate and Individual Level Validation. Survey Research Methods, 16(1), 45–60.




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