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

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Bailey and Danziger's War on Poverty book reviewed in NY Review of Books

Bloomberg cites MTF data in story on CDC's anti-smoking ads for e-cigarettes

Bound says notion that foreign college students are displacing U.S. students "isn't right"

Highlights

U-M ranked #1 in Sociology of Population by USN&WR's "Best Graduate Schools"

PAA 2015 Annual Meeting: Preliminary program and list of UM participants

ISR addition wins LEED Gold Certification

PSC Fall 2014 Newsletter now available

Next Brown Bag

Mon, April 6
Jinkook Lee, Wellbeing of the Elderly in East Asia

Eleanor Singer photo

The Effect of Question Framing and Response Options on the Relationship between Racial Attitudes and Beliefs about Genes as Causes of Behavior

Publication Abstract

Singer, Eleanor, Mick P. Couper, Trivellore Raghunathan, Toni Antonucci, M. Burmeister, and J. Van Hoewyk. 2010. "The Effect of Question Framing and Response Options on the Relationship between Racial Attitudes and Beliefs about Genes as Causes of Behavior." Public Opinion Quarterly, 74(3): 460-476.

Prior research suggests that the attribution of individual and group differences to genetic causes is correlated with prejudiced attitudes toward minority groups. Our study suggests that these findings may be due to the wording of the questions and to the choice of response options. Using a series of vignettes in an online survey, we find a relationship between racial attitudes and genetic attributions when respondents are asked to make causal attributions of differences between racial groups. However, when they are asked to make causal attributions for characteristics shown by individuals, no such relationship is found. The response scale used appears to make less, if any, difference in the results. These findings indicate that the way questions about genetic causation of behavior are framed makes a significant contribution to the answers obtained because it significantly changes the meaning of the questions. We argue that such framing needs to be carefully attended to, not only in posing research questions but also in discourse about genetics more generally.

DOI:10.1093/poq/nfq009 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3045778. (Pub Med Central)

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next