Behavioral Question

Behavioral questions are survey questions that ask about respondents' factual circumstances. They contrast with attitude questions, which ask about respondents' opinions. Typical behavioral questions target the respondent's household composition, sources of income, purchases, crime victimizations, hospitalizations, and many other autobiographical details. The Current Population Survey (CPS), for example, asks:

Have you worked at a job or business at any time during the past 12 months?

Similarly, the National Crime Survey (NCS) includes the following behavioral item:

During the last 6 months, did anyone steal things that belonged to you from inside ANY car or truck, such as packages or clothing?

Although these examples call for a simple “Yes” or “No” response, other behavioral items require dates (When was the last time you…?), frequencies (How many times during the last ...

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