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Global Programme on Evidence for Health Policy World Health Organization

By Ritu Sadana and Geneva Background


The realization that numerous factors contribute to how individuals make judgements and respond within interview based surveys is not new (Jobe & Mingay 1989; Kahneman, Slovic & Tversky 1982). Over the past 50 years or so, investigations in the area of “respondent bias ” have documented various sources of error, i.e., factors that may contribute to the difference between what is truth, what is perceived or judged and what is ultimately reported or observed. Earlier work primarily focused on describing these different factors (see Streiner & Norman 1995), while latter work investigated the cognitive processes that contribute to such biases (see Kahneman, Slovic & Tversky 1982). Some of these factors and processes include: � � Social desirability or secondary gains (purposively under- or over-reporting level of health status) � � Aversion to end points or central tendency bias (e.g., reluctance to use the extreme categories on a scale, such as very bad and excellent) � � Halo effect (e.g., the general impression influences how specific traits or states are assessed, and may reflect that raters are unable to evaluate more than a few dimensions distinctly from a general dimension

Year: 2013
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