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24.07.2017 | Ausgabe 4/2018 Open Access

Quality & Quantity 4/2018

A classification of response scale characteristics that affect data quality: a literature review

Quality & Quantity > Ausgabe 4/2018
Anna DeCastellarnau


Quite a lot of research is available on the relationships between survey response scales’ characteristics and the quality of responses. However, it is often difficult to extract practical rules for questionnaire design from the wide and often mixed amount of empirical evidence. The aim of this study is to provide first a classification of the characteristics of response scales, mentioned in the literature, that should be considered when developing a scale, and second a summary of the main conclusions extracted from the literature regarding the impact these characteristics have on data quality. Thus, this paper provides an updated and detailed classification of the design decisions that matter in questionnaire development, and a summary of what is said in the literature about their impact on data quality. It distinguishes between characteristics that have been demonstrated to have an impact, characteristics for which the impact has not been found, and characteristics for which research is still needed to make a conclusion.
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