Would your decision to eat a delicious hamburger change if you knew the nutrition information?
Would you admit to texting and driving in a personal interview…or if a survey was anonymous?
These two questions and many others can expose a very common problem in surveys today: response bias. Response bias occurs when there is a systematic pattern of inaccurate answers to a survey question. This can occur for several different reasons, but here are some examples:
- how the question is asked
- what information is provided or not provided with the question
- characteristics of the interviewer
- lack of anonymity
- respondents lie
- respondents can’t remember accurate information