Applying Cognitive Science to Build a High-Quality Survey Design

How does the cognitive process affect the way people answer to survey questions?

Rips, L. J., Rasinski, K., Rips, L. J., Tourangeau, R. (2000). The Psychology of Survey Response. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

In the end, the researcher should want the question format to meet the respondent’s mental model for processing.

What is the difference between behavioral and attitude questions?

How should I consider the Total Survey Error framework when designing a survey?

Saris W.E. (2014) Total Survey Error. In: Michalos A.C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_3034

How do I design “good” survey questions?

  1. Use the time period that is easy for respondents to think about (eg., last 12 months is easier to remember than last 10 months)
  2. Avoid asking about infrequent or minor behaviors
  3. Be careful to not mix reference periods. So if you pick one try to stay committed to that time reference throughout the survey.

A good word of advice is to take the construct that we want to measure and turn it into survey questions :)

What is a Cognitive Interview (CI)?

  1. Think-out-loud
  2. Verbal Probing techniques *Warning: this could have a biasing effect
  3. Concurrent and/or retrospective probing techniques
  4. etc.
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Hi 🙋🏻‍♀️ I am a Mix-Methods Researcher at Deloitte. I’d like to share my thoughts and experiences in the field💙 Thank you so much for visiting ☺️🙏

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Karen

Karen

Hi 🙋🏻‍♀️ I am a Mix-Methods Researcher at Deloitte. I’d like to share my thoughts and experiences in the field💙 Thank you so much for visiting ☺️🙏

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