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

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Sastry's 10-year study of New Orleans Katrina evacuees shows demographic differences between returning and nonreturning

Stafford says less educated, smaller investors more likely to sell off stock and lock in losses during market downturn

Chen says job fit, job happiness can be achieved over time

Highlights

Deirdre Bloome wins ASA award for work on racial inequality and intergenerational transmission

Bob Willis awarded 2015 Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Field of Labor Economics

David Lam is new director of Institute for Social Research

Elizabeth Bruch wins Robert Merton Prize for paper in analytic sociology

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Oct 12
Joe Grengs, Policy & Planning for Social Equity in Transportation

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