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01-08-2016 | Brief Communication | Uitgave 8/2016

Quality of Life Research 8/2016

The effect of response option order on self-rated health: a replication study

Tijdschrift:
Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 8/2016
Auteurs:
Dana Garbarski, Nora Cate Schaeffer, Jennifer Dykema

Abstract

Purpose

Following calls for replication of research studies, this study documents the results of two studies that experimentally examine the impact of response option order on self-rated health (SRH).

Methods

Two studies from an online panel survey examined how the order of response options (positive to negative versus negative to positive) influences the distribution of SRH answers.

Results

The results of both studies indicate that the distribution of SRH varies across the experimental treatments, and mean SRH is lower (worse) when the response options start with “poor” rather than “excellent.” In addition, there are differences across the two studies in the distribution of SRH and mean SRH when the response options begin with “excellent,” but not when the response options begin with “poor.”

Conclusion

The similarities in the general findings across the two studies strengthen the claim that SRH will be lower (worse) when the response options are ordered beginning with “poor” rather than “excellent” in online self-administered questionnaires, with implications for the validity of SRH. The slight differences in the administration of the seemingly identical studies further strengthen the claim and also serve as a reminder of the inherent variability of a single permutation of any given study.

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