JESS seminar: Do Falsifiers leave traces? An attempt to identify interviewer falsifications by questionnaire-immanent indicators Jess seminar
Previous research has shown that falsifications by interviewers can systematically distort analysis results and are therefore a potential threat to data quality. This is particularly true if interviewers use stereotypes about their respondents to fabricate data. To deal with this issue, survey institutes and researchers most often use external control mechanisms to detect falsifications, but also questionnaire-immanent criteria have been proposed as a supplementary strategy. The latter approach is based on the assumption that falsifiers act in line with rational choice theory and hence show certain response patterns that distinguish them from real respondents. However, there is still little systematic research on the validity of such indicators. The study to be presented uses survey data on income inequality in Germany to discuss to what extent falsifiers‘ response patterns actually meet the theoretical expectations and are identifiable by them. A unique advantage of the data at hand is that we do not rely on artifical material created in laboratory situations but on authentic falsifications, which were identified by external control mechanisms and admitted by the responsible survey agency. Among the tested indicators are the share of extreme categories ticked on ordinal response scales, item-nonresponse, the strategic use of filter questions to shorten the questionnaire and the omission of open answers. Apart from that, the available numerical answers were tested for their conformity with the Benford distribution.
Sandra Walzenbach, Konstanz
Date & time
28 Mar 2018, 13:00
2N2.4.16 (Large Seminar Room)
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