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Positive, negative, and bipolar questions : the effect of question polarity on ratings of text readability

Positive, negative und bipolare Fragen : der Effekt der Polarität von Fragen auf die Beurteilung der Lesbarkeit von Texten
[journal article]

Kamoen, Naomi; Holleman, Bregje; Bergh, Huub van den; Sanders, Ted

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://dx.doi.org/10.18148/srm/2013.v7i3.5034

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Abstract "For decades, survey researchers have known that respondents give different answers to attitude questions worded positively (X is good. Agree-Disagree), negatively (X is bad. Agree-Disagree) or on a bipolar scale (X is bad-good). This makes survey answers hard to interpret, especially since findings on exactly how the answers are affected are conflicting. In the current paper, we present twelve studies in which the effect of question polarity was measured for a set of thirteen contrastive adjectives. In each study, the same adjectives were used so the generalizability of wording effects across studies could be examined for each word pair. Results show that for five of the word pairs an effect of question wording can be generalized. The direction of these effects are largely consistent: respondents generally give the same answers to positive and bipolar questions, but they are more likely to disagree with negative questions than to agree with positive questions or to choose the positive side of the bipolar scale. In other words, respondents express their opinions more positively when the question is worded negatively. Even though answers to the three wording alternatives sometimes differ, results also show that reliable answers can be obtained with all three wording alternatives. So, for survey practice, these results suggest that all three wording alternatives may be used for attitude measurement." (author's abstract)
Keywords response behavior; questionnaire; measurement
Classification Methods and Techniques of Data Collection and Data Analysis, Statistical Methods, Computer Methods
Document language English
Publication Year 2013
Page/Pages p. 181-189
Journal Survey Research Methods, 7 (2013) 3
ISSN 1864-3361
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications