Stasja Draisma, born in Haarlem, the Netherlands, in 1963. Ph.D. from the VU University, Amsterdam. Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Research Methodology at the VU University, Amsterdam.
Fellow (1 September 2003 – 30 June 2004)
ANSWER CONSTRUCTION IN SURVEY INTERVIEWS: RESPONDENTS’ JUDGMENTS OF DIFFERENT CONSIDERATIONS
My research has focused on the judgment phase in answering survey questions concerning attitudes. After the search for relevant information in memory, respondents are supposed to combine different information elements into a preliminary answer. Two factors were important for consideration: the role of specific beliefs concerning the attitude object and the types of answering strategies. Beliefs about an object may conflict with each other. In such cases, different models for attitudinal ambivalence apply. According to a dual process view on cognition, respondents either choose a heuristic or a systematic strategy in finding an answer to a question. Respondent characteristics (such as cognitive sophistication, motivation and expertise) influence the choice of a certain strategy. An analysis of verbal interactions between interviewer and respondent was performed to investigate what kind of considerations are expressed (indicators for beliefs) and whether reaction times could be used as indicators for the cognitive processing during the judgment phase.