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Surprising findings on what influences unintended pregnancy from Wise, Geronimus and Smock

Recommendations on how to reduce discrimination resulting from ban-the-box policies cite Starr's work

Brian Jacob on NAEP scores: "Michigan is the only state in the country where proficiency rates have actually declined over time."

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Call for papers: Conference on computational social science, April 2017, U-M

Sioban Harlow honored with 2017 Sarah Goddard Power Award for commitment to women's health

Post-doc fellowship in computational social science for summer or fall 2017, U-Penn

ICPSR Summer Program scholarships to support training in statistics, quantitative methods, research design, and data analysis

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Mon, March 13, 2017, noon:
Rachel Best

Context effects in survey ratings of health, symptoms, and satisfaction

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Stone, A.A., J.E. Broderick, J.E. Schwartz, and Norbert Schwarz. 2008. "Context effects in survey ratings of health, symptoms, and satisfaction." Medical Care, 46(7): 662-667.

Background: Survey self-reports of health status, symptoms (pain and fatigue), and life satisfaction often serve as outcomes in clinical trials. Prior studies have shown, however, that such reports can be subject to context effects, which could threaten their validity. Research Design: We examined the impact of 2 context effects: the effect of the reporting period associated with a question (No Period Specified; Last Month; Right Now) and the effect of whom the respondent compared themselves to in answering a question (None Specified; Compared with Others in the US; Compared with 20-Year-Olds). Results: One thousand four hundred seventy-one community adults aged 20 through 70 years, who were members of an internet panel, responded to I of 9 questionnaires formed by crossing the 2 context variables. A significant effect of Reporting Period was observed indicating that higher levels of Pain and Fatigue were associated with the I-Month reporting period. When no reporting period was specified, symptom levels were equivalent to the Right Now levels of symptoms. Reporting Period had no effect on the other outcomes. Educational level did not interact with these main effects, with I exception. None of the predicted effects were found for Comparison Group, although Pain was significantly associated with this factor. Conclusions: Reporting period in survey questions is a factor that influences responses and should be considered by survey researchers in their study designs.

PMCID: PMC2757262. (Pub Med Central)

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