Nathan Bowling, Ph.D. (Advisor); Gary Burns, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Corey Miller, Ph.D. (Committee Member); David LaHuis, Ph.D. (Committee Member)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Careless responding is a problem for survey research that poses threats to both the reliability and validity of data collected. Warnings against careless responding have been proposed as a potential solution to reduce this harmful effect. The present study examines how warnings can reduce careless responding as well as examine how those warnings may influence the reliability and validity of data collected. Data was collected in a low stakes online testing format in a way similar to many psychological studies. This study included informant dyad data from people who knew the participants well to provide external criteria for analysis. A sample of 231 pairs of partners that knew each other well was collected. The target participant completed a questionnaire of approximately 400 items while the informant completed a 34-item survey about the target. Results indicate that there was no significant reduction in carelessness measured by multiple indicators as well as no improvements in reliability. Analysis of validity indicators found only limited support for the hypothesis that warnings would increase validity. These results may be due to a filter effect caused by methodological constraints that inadvertently filtered out careless responders before they had a chance to fully participate in the study. Future research is needed to examine if warnings to prevent careless responding may be beneficial in situations where careless respondents are included in the dataset.
Department or Program
Department of Psychology
Year Degree Awarded
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