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Perception is the subjective process of acquiring, interpreting, and organizing sensory information. Survey questions that assess perception, as opposed to those assessing factual knowledge, are aimed at identifying the processes that (a) underlie how individuals acquire, interpret, organize, and, generally make sense of (i.e. form beliefs about) the environment in which they live; and (b) help measure the extent to which such perceptions affect individual behaviors and attitudes as a function of an individual's past experiences, biological makeup, expectations, goals, and/or culture.

Perception questions differ from other types of survey questions—behavioral, knowledge, attitudinal, or demographic—in that questions that measure perception ask respondents to provide information on how they perceive such matters as the effectiveness of programs, their health status, or the makeup of their community, among ...

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