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Kristen Miller & Gordon Willis

In: The SAGE Handbook of Survey Methodology

Chapter 15: Cognitive Models of Answering Processes

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Cognitive Models of Answering Processes
Cognitive models of answering processes
Kristen MillerGordon Willis

Understanding the various aspects of the survey process that can impact data quality is key to effective survey research. One of the most salient factors related to data quality is the process by which respondents interpret survey questions and formulate answers. Examining question response provides a basis for determining whether or not questions capture the intended construct and also provides direction as to how resulting data should be analyzed.

This chapter describes two theoretical approaches for understanding the question response process: a psychological approach and a socio-cultural approach. We first briefly recount the history of cognitive theory as it applies to the question response process, and then discuss the ways in which it has ...

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