Learning and Evaluation/Archive/Learning modules/3Minimize Social Desirability Bias

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Part 1: Introduction

Why Survey?
Why Surveys Are Useful
Survey instruments
Types of information
Attributes - a special case
Survey Objective and Planning

Part 2: Reliability & Validity

Reliability & Validity
Face Validity
Content Validity
Criterion Validity
Construct Validity

Part 3: Question Construction

Writing Good Questions
Questions from Existing Surveys
Constructing your own Questions
Be Specific
Be Concise
Avoid Double Negatives
Minimize Social Desirability Bias
Avoid Double-barreled questions
Avoid abbreviations, jargon, technical terms, or slang
Avoid leading questions
Avoid loaded questions
Use appropriate wording
Ask useful questions
Rely on second-hand data sparsely
Use caution when asking personal questions

Part 4: Response Options

Question types
Dichotomous pairs
Multiple choice
Check all that apply
Choosing response options

Part 5: Questionnaire structure

Important considerations
Questions order
Additional Resources

  Wikimedia Training Designing Effective Questions Menu

Minimize Social Desirability Bias

To know whether an editor participated in voting for the Photo of the Year contest in 2012, using wording that is unbiased for all respondents (i.e. wether they voted or not).

Very Poor:
If you are a dedicated editor, did you vote in the Photo of the Year contest in 2012?
While a possible response option for this question might be "I am not a dedicated editor," the question puts too much responsibility on a respondent, who might feel guilty or even offended by the question.
Did you vote in last year’s Photo of the Year 2012 contest?
This question is better, but respondents might feel like they must reply positively.
There are many reasons a contributor to Commons may not be able to vote in a Photo of the Year contest such as not having made enough contributions or missing the voting period. Thinking about the Photo of the Year contest of 2012, do you remember if you voted?
This question is much more specific and has a reduced social desirability effect.