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We thank Editor-in-Chief Mike Peng for helpful comments, insights, and suggestions on earlier versions of this paper.
Scholars have speculated that the Chinese may be more reluctant to express their opinions strongly and that this may be reinforced if the odd number response format with a mid-point option of “no opinion” or “neither agree nor disagree” is provided. This may undermine the quality of survey data because less variances or even inaccurate information will be collected. This study provides empirical evidence from 532 mainland Chinese employees in Beijing to test this speculation. These employees were randomly assigned to complete either an odd number or even number response format questionnaire. In contrast to the speculation, in a wide variety of measures that are relevant to the area of organizational behavior (OB) and human resource management (HRM), it appears that the odd number response format does not show systematic differences when compared with the even number response format. This result holds even for some sensitive measures of personal beliefs, evaluation of and judgments about employing organizations, supervisors, and colleagues. Given the increasing number of studies surveying Chinese and other Asian respondents, we call for further research on this issue.
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- Differences between odd number and even number response formats: Evidence from mainland Chinese respondents
Kelly Z. Peng
- Springer US
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