Journal Article Review: Analyzing Sensitive Questions in Surveys
Sensitive Questions in Survey written by Roger Tourangeau and Ting Yan appeared in volume 5 of the Psychological Bulletin and was published in 2007. I retrieved the article from Ovis database for the purpose of analyzing and evaluating the research methods employed in the studies as they pertain to the class text: Psychology Themes & Variations as well as our class lectures and discussions.
Sensitive Questions in Survey is a review article. It is a compilation and analysis of a myriad of studies that have been conducted on the way respondents answer sensitive questions in surveys. The authors begin with a thorough explanation of what is meant by the term “sensitive questions” and they progress onto a discussion of the consequences of including these types of questions on surveys. One of which is that people often do not answer them honestly. The authors endeavor to determine whether misreporting on sensitive questions is deliberate and whether or not it is an automatic behavior.
In order to gain a clear understanding of the issues addressed in the article it is important that the reader has a clear understanding of the term “sensitive questions.” There are several factors that affect sensitivity, they include: the level of intrusiveness, the social desirability factor, and the consequences of disclosure. (Tourangeau and Yan, 2007). Subjects might not be inclined to answer sensitive questions honestly if they believe there will be consequences. This in turn depends on who is asking the questions, who is present when they’re asked, and what the consequences of telling the truth might be. This is only a concern when the subject has something to hide.
If survey participants feel that their answers may be openly revealed to others (especially their peers), they may be less inclined to give any answer at all, or they may give false answers. This phenomenon speaks to social...