Date of Award

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Jackson, Dennis (Psychology)

Keywords

Psychology, General.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

In the past, it has been noted that minor changes in questionnaire design can influence the responses submitted (Jackson, Ing, & Arseneault, 2007). This study looked to evaluate whether variations in item wording or response scale characteristics would influence the way individuals cognitively process and respond to questionnaires. To facilitate this a 3x2x2x2 randomized by repeated measure experimental design was implemented, where scale characteristics and item wording were manipulated. Multiple Analysis of Variance tests were conducted, and it was noted that variations in scale characteristics and item wording resulted in differences in cognitive processing as well as the responses submitted. Questionnaire characteristics interacted with the type of experiences being evaluated, suggesting that some experiences result in different types of cognitive processing than others. The results from this study suggest that researchers should be careful when creating questionnaires, as subtle variations can alter the way individuals process and respond to items.

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