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Political Research Exchange

The Effect of the Perceived Source of the Questionnaire on Survey Response

Political Methodology
 
Political Psychology
 
Methods
 
Quantitative
 
Public Opinion
 
Survey Research
 
Presenter
Bernd Schlipphak
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Authors
Bernd Schlipphak
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Mujtaba Ali Isani
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

Abstract
While recent research has looked at the gender, the wearing of religious attire, the sexual orientation or the mode of survey as potential moderating factors in survey response, surprisingly little research has looked at how the perceived source of the questionnaire affects respondents’ behavior in answering survey questions. This paper uses a question item from the Afrobarometer to investigate the moderating effect of the alleged survey sponsor to attitudes toward international actors. Our expectations are: Firstly, that the more the sensitive the question item the stronger will be the moderating effect of the perceived sponsor. Secondly, if the respondent thinks that the survey is a foreign actor/agency or some secret service, the stronger is the likely moderating effect of the survey sponsor. Our preliminary overview of the data suggests that countries where there has been greater civil conflict, the sample is more likely to doubt the source of the questionnaire. Secondly, it appears as if the respondents which doubt the survey sponsor are likely to avoid answering seemingly sensitive questions.
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