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Research Synthesis: Satisficing in Surveys: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Roberts, Caroline and Gilbert, Emily and Allum, Nick and Eisner, Leila (2019) 'Research Synthesis: Satisficing in Surveys: A Systematic Review of the Literature.' Public Opinion Quarterly, 83 (3). 598 - 626. ISSN 0033-362X

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Abstract

Herbert Simon’s (1956) concept of satisficing provides an intuitive explanation for the reasons why respondents to surveys sometimes adopt response strategies that can lead to a reduction in data quality. As such, the concept rapidly gained popularity among researchers after it was first introduced to the field of survey methodology by Krosnick and Alwin (1987), and has become a widely-cited buzzword linked to different forms of response error. In this article, we present the findings of a systematic review involving a content analysis of journal articles published in English-language journals between 1987 and 2015 that have drawn on the satisficing concept to evaluate survey data quality. Based on extensive searches of online databases, and an initial screening exercise to apply the study’s inclusion criteria, 141 relevant articles were identified. Guided by the theory of survey satisficing described by Krosnick (1991), the methodological features of the shortlisted articles were coded, ncluding the indicators of satisficing analyzed, the main predictors of satisficing, and the presence of main or interaction effects on the prevalence of satisficing involving indicators of task difficulty, respondent ability and respondent motivation. Our analysis sheds light on potential differences in the extent to which satisficing theory holds for different types of response error, and highlights a number of avenues for future research.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2019 08:52
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2020 02:00
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/25136

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