Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.28, No.4, 2012. pp. 537551

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Discussion Evaluation Procedures for Survey Questions

In this article, different criteria for the choice of an evaluation procedure for survey questions are discussed. Firstly, we mention a practical criterion: the amount of data collection the procedures require. Secondly, we suggest the distinction between personal judgments and model-based evaluations of questions. Thirdly, we suggest that it would be attractive if the procedure could evaluate the following aspects of the questions: 1. The relationship between the concept to be measured and the question specified; 2. The effects of the form of the question on the quality of the question with respect to: a. the complexity of the formulation, b. the precision, c. possible method effects, d. many other characteristics; 3. The social desirability of some of the response categories. Besides that, it would be desirable if the procedure could indicate the effect of respondents lack of the knowledge about the topic on their answers. We compare 13 procedures for the evaluation of questions with respect to these criteria and will derive some conclusions from this overview.

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