Web Survey Bibliography

Title Violating Conversational Conventions Disrupts Cognitive Processing of Attitude Questions
Source Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 36, 5, pp. 465–494
Year 2010
Database ScienceDirect
Access date 18.09.2014

This research distinguishes conversational norms from conversational conventions and tests the notion that violation of conversational conventions in attitude questions disrupts processing and reduces data quality. Our first study showed that in questions with simple, dichotomous affirmative and negative response alternatives, respondents expect the affirmative response alternative to be offered before the negative one. Four studies showed that violating this convention disrupts cognitive processing. Respondents took longer to answer questions asked unconventionally, and their answers were less predictable by their attitudinal dispositions and their demographic characteristics. In addition, answers were less responsive to manipulation of a key feature of an object of judgment. Another study ruled out a possible alternative explanation for the effect (an increase in disconfirmatory thinking) and documented that convention violation led people to generate more thoughts irrelevant to the question's topic. These disruption effects were reliable only among people for whom the cognitive work entailed by generating optimal answers to questions was most difficult.

Year of publication2000
Bibliographic typeJournal article

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