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

Josh Tabor has come up with an awesome poster project that actually gets students collecting data.  Here is the rubric and here are some examples from his classroom (Thanks Josh!).

Response Bias Project