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ORDER OF ELICITED RESPONSES ON A QUESTIONNAIRE AS A MEASURE OF TOPIC SALIENCE

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Abstract:

Two studies among US college students (N 1 = 88; N 2 = 329) examined the relationship between the order in which responses are offered on a questionnaire and the ranked importance of those responses. Both studies found that approximately one third (32%; 31%) of the listed attributes were ranked in the order of mention. Expanding the criteria to include adjacent categories raised the overlap to about two thirds (64%; 65%). The findings of both studies were independent of gender. In addition, Study II measured topic importance/involvement among the respondents; the results indicated it was not a factor in this trend. The factor which did influence the order of mention and rankings was the number of categories used by the respondents. When more than seven categories were used, the stability of mention and rankings tended to become erratic.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2000.28.6.603

Publication date: January 1, 2000

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