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Ineffectiveness of Reverse Wording of Questionnaire Items: Let’s Learn from Cows in the Rain

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Dolphin, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    This article was co-written by renegade psychologist, James C. Coyne.

    I'm not highlighting it for any specific relevance to ME/CFS. It is just an example of a type of problem that can occur in questionnaires which I thought might be interesting to the odd person to highlight.

    The paper is summarised in the first part of this blogpost: http://jcoynester.wordpress.com/201...-constructing-a-title-for-a-scientific-paper/


    The paper requires a bit of attention. However, I imagine it would be quite a bit less work to read if one skipped the Methods and Results sections.

    Here's an extract from the introduction:

    I once observed some questionnaire responses from ME/CFS patients (unpublished study) which looked like there were some errors in the responses due to inattention. I will now have a name and reference for this sort of problem.
     
    WillowJ, Sean, Simon and 3 others like this.
  2. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    In the discussion section, they make the following point, which is to do with questionnaires/surveys in general rather than specifically what they were studying. I have seen user9876 bring up these sorts of issues.


     
  3. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    Incidentally, the MFI-20 itself is used sometimes in ME/CFS research. For example, it is one of the questionnaires used in the empiric criteria (Reeves et al., 2005) for CFS. However, this was just a sample questionnaire they used.
     
    Esther12 likes this.
  4. user9876

    user9876 Senior Member

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    Item response theory looks interesting but I haven't got round to doing more that a quick scan of it.

    Another point that might not have been mentioned (I've not read the paper) which is around question ordering. I've come across at least one psychologist who recommended randomly choosing different question orders for each question to avoid leading the subject to an answer.

    Negative questions are much harder to comprehend. I seem to remember some psycholinguistic results around the speed of processing negative sentences was greater based on monitoring eye movements as people scan the page. But would fit in with the "questions too hard" part.

    Tversky and Kalman also found an effect where they got different decisions by structuring sentences to stress risk or reward - which perhaps demonstrates the importance of thinking through wording. Such work may be particularly relavent to some of the psychosocial researchers attempts to find causation that supports there models as they ask guestions around perceived risk of activity.
     
    WillowJ and Simon like this.
  5. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    They didn't discuss either of these that I recall but could imagine they might be aware of such issues (although am not sure).
     
    user9876 likes this.

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