Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Edin and Shaefer's book a call to action for Americans to deal with poverty

Weir says pain may underlie rise in suicide and substance-related deaths among white middle-aged Americans

Weitzman says China's one-child policy has had devastating effects on first-born daughters


MCubed opens for new round of seed funding, November 4-18

PSC News, fall 2015 now available

Barbara Anderson appointed chair of Census Scientific Advisory Committee

John Knodel honored by Thailand's Chulalongkorn University

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Dec 7 at noon, 6050 ISR-Thompson
Daniel Eisenberg, "Healthy Minds Network: Mental Health among College-Age Populations"

Mick P. Couper photo

Visual context effects in web surveys

Publication Abstract

Couper, Mick P., Frederick G. Conrad, and Roger Tourangeau. 2007. "Visual context effects in web surveys." Public Opinion Quarterly, 71(4): 623-634.

There are many examples of context effects in survey measurement. Responses to survey questions can be shaped by the order of questions, the format of response options, the broader survey environment, and so on. For Web surveys, the inclusion of visual images is a trivial design issue, but may have consequences for the responses obtained because they change the visual context. We report a series of experiments examining how responses may be affected by the use of images in Web surveys. Specifically, we examine the effect that pictures of a healthy woman exercising versus a sick woman in a hospital bed have on self-rated health. We replicated the experiments in three different surveys, varying such factors as the size and placement of the image and the location of the question within the questionnaire. In general, we find that when exposed to a picture of a fit woman, respondents consistently rate their own health lower than when exposed to a picture of a sick woman.

DOI:10.1093/poq/nfm044 (Full Text)

Licensed Access Link

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next