Treatment Spillover Effects Across Survey Experiments
Posted: 18 Aug 2009
Date Written: Spring 2009
Embedding experiments within surveys has reinvigorated survey research. Several survey experiments are generally embedded within a survey, and analysts treat each of these experiments as self-contained. We investigate whether experiments are self-contained or if earlier treatments affect later experiments, which we call “experimental spillover.” We consider two types of bias that might be introduced by spillover: mean and inference biases. Using a simple procedure, we test for experimental spillover in two data sets: the 1991 Race and Politics Survey and a survey containing several experiments pertaining to foreign policy attitudes. We find some evidence of spillover and suggest solutions to avoid bias.
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