Skip to content

Journal Article

First equals most important? Order effects in vignette-based measurement

Authors

Publication date

Aug 2017

Summary

To measure what determines people’s attitudes, definitions, or decisions, surveys increasingly ask respondents to judge vignettes. A vignette typically describes a hypothetical situation or object as having various attributes (dimensions). In factorial surveys, the values (levels) of dimensions are experimentally varied, so that their impact on respondents’ judgments can be estimated. Drawing on the literature in cognitive psychology and survey methodology, we examine two research questions: Does the order in which dimensions are presented impact the vignette evaluations and change substantive conclusions? Under which conditions are order effects mostly likely to occur? Using data from a web survey of 300 students, we analyze several possible moderators: features of the vignette design, characteristics of respondents, and interactions between these features. Results show that strong order effects can occur, but only when the vignettes are of a minimum complexity or respondents show a low attitude certainty.

Published in

Sociological Methods and Research

Volume and page numbers

46 , 490 -539

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0049124115591016

ISSN

16

Subjects

Psychology and Survey Methodology

Links

University of Essex, Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to University of Essex registered users* - http://serlib0.essex.ac.uk/record=b1646523~S5

#524523


Research home

Research home

News

Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author

Podcasts

Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society

Projects

Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs

Events

Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report

Themes

Key research themes and areas of interest