You are not currently logged in.
Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:
Why Are You Calling Me? How Study Introductions Change Response Patterns
Dylan M. Smith, Norbert Schwarz, Todd R. Roberts and Peter A. Ubel
Quality of Life Research
Vol. 15, No. 4 (May, 2006), pp. 621-630
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27641129
Page Count: 10
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Parkinson disease, Health surveys, Wellbeing, School surveys, Diseases, Observational frames of reference, Observational research, Quality of life, Survey methods, Informed consent
Were these topics helpful?See somethings inaccurate? Let us know!
Select the topics that are inaccurate.
Preview not available
Purpose: Research on survey methodology has demonstrated that seemingly innocuous aspects of a survey's design, such as the order of questions, can produce biased results. The current investigation extends this work by testing whether standard survey introductions alter the observed associations between variables. Methods: In two experimental studies, we invited Parkinson's disease (PD) patients to participate in a telephone survey of (a) Parkinson's patients, conducted by a regional medical center, or (b) the general population, conducted by a regional university. The survey in Study 1 (n = 156) first assessed life-satisfaction, and subsequently health satisfaction. In Study 2 (n = 99), we reversed the order of the two questions, asking the health questions first. Results: When the introduction focused on Parkinson's disease, we observed an increased correlation between life-satisfaction and a later question about health satisfaction (r = 0.34 vs. 0.63 after general population versus Parkinson's introduction, respectively; Study 1). In Study 2, asking the health questions first resulted in high correlations regardless of the introduction; in addition, judgments of life-satisfaction were lower after the Parkinson's-focused introduction. Conclusions: When participants were informed prior to the survey that its purpose was to examine well-being in PD, health satisfaction was a much more important component of life-satisfaction, accounting for three times as much variation. We hypothesize that the survey introduction primed participants' health status, resulting in an artificially large correlation with life-satisfaction.
Quality of Life Research © 2006 Springer