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Galesic, M., and Roger Tourangeau. 2007. "What is sexual harassment? It depends on who asks! Framing effects on survey responses." Applied Cognitive Psychology, 21:189-202.
We examine the impact of the framing of the survey request-the description of the survey's sponsor and topic-on respondents' answers and describe three mechanisms that may underline such effects. Respondents can try to be relevant and cooperative and provide answers they see as the most useful; they can use the sponsorship and other elements of the survey presentation to help them understand ambiguous questions; and they may find it easier to recall instances of events related to the survey presentation. In a study that framed the survey in two different ways-one sponsored by a feminist organisation fighting against sexual harassment and the other sponsored by a neutral research institute-we found significant differences in the ways people understood and answered questions about sexual harassment. We show that all of the three mechanisms we distinguish might have affected the results.