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Response quality and ideological dispositions: an integrative approach using geometric and classifying techniques

Alice Barth () and Andreas Schmitz ()
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Alice Barth: University of Bonn
Andreas Schmitz: University of Bonn

Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, 2018, vol. 52, issue 1, 175-194

Abstract: Abstract When analyzing survey data, response quality has consequential implications for substantial conclusions. Differences in response quality are usually explained by personality, or socio-demographic or cognitive characteristics. Little, however, is known about how respondents’ political attitudes, values, and opinions impact on quality aspects. This is a striking analytical omission, as potential associations between political values and various forms of response biases and artefacts call into question surveys’ ability to represent ‘public opinion’. In this contribution, response quality is traced back to respondents’ political and ideological dispositions. For this purpose, a relational understanding of response quality is applied that takes into account different aspects of response behaviors, as well as the interrelations between these indicators. Using data from the US General Social Survey (2010–2014), an empirical typology of response quality is created via finite mixture analysis. The resulting classes are then related to positions in the US field of ideological dispositions, constructed via multiple correspondence analysis. The analyses reveal that there are (1) different combinations of response patterns and thus different empirical response types, and (2) that these types of response quality systematically vary with regard to the respondents’ political and ideological (dis)positions. Implications of the findings for public opinion surveys are discussed.

Keywords: Data quality; Response quality; Correspondence analysis; Finite mixture modeling (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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