Instrument Design

George Franklin Bishop

in The Oxford Handbook of American Public Opinion and the Media

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199545636
Published online September 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of American Politics

Instrument Design


This chapter focuses on instrument design, their effects, how they occur, and how they can be dealt with, beginning with the effects of question design on the attitudes, subjective judgments, and opinions of the respondents. It then studies how the actual wording and content of survey questions change the conclusions that researchers would draw with regards to public opinion. The next section centres on how the context and order in which both the questions and response alternatives are presented can impact the results. The final part of the chapter considers how various question-design effects can be understood as part of a more basic cognitive-psychological model of the question-and-answer process.

Keywords: instrument design; question design; survey questions; wording; response alternatives; cognitive-psychological mode; question and answer

Article.  8529 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Political Behaviour

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