State-Dependence Effects in Surveys

Posted: 24 Oct 2012

See all articles by Martijn G. de Jong

Martijn G. de Jong

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Donald R. Lehmann

Columbia Business School - Marketing

Oded Netzer

Columbia Business School - Marketing

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

In recent years academic research has focused on understanding and modeling the survey response process. This paper examines an understudied systematic response tendency in surveys: the extent to which observed responses are subject to state dependence, i.e., response carryover from one item to another independent of specific item content. We develop a statistical model that simultaneously accounts for state dependence, item content, and scale usage heterogeneity. The paper explores how state dependence varies by response category, item characteristics, item sequence, respondent characteristics, and whether it becomes stronger as the survey progresses. Two empirical applications provide evidence of substantial and significant state dependence. We find that the degree of state dependence depends on item characteristics and item sequence, and it varies across individuals and countries. The article demonstrates that ignoring state dependence may affect reliability and predictive validity, and it provides recommendations for survey researchers.

Keywords: state dependence, response process, surveys, scale usage, response styles, survey response models, item response theory, validity, reliability

Suggested Citation

de Jong, Martijn G. and Lehmann, Donald R. and Netzer, Oded, State-Dependence Effects in Surveys (2012). Marketing Science, Vol. 31, No. 5, 2012, pp. 838-854, DOI: 10.1287/mksc.1120.0722. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2163021

Martijn G. De Jong (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

3000 DR Rotterdam
Zuid-Holland
Netherlands

Donald R. Lehmann

Columbia Business School - Marketing ( email )

New York, NY 10027
United States

Oded Netzer

Columbia Business School - Marketing ( email )

New York, NY 10027
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
214
PlumX Metrics