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Answering Questions in Surveys

Sears, C. and Ennis, D. M. (2014). IFPress, 17(4) 3-4.



Surveys are conducted to study three main categories: attitudes and beliefs, events and behaviors, and subjective experience. Product, concept, and brand testing can be viewed as types of surveys falling into the third category, subjective experience. This view encourages cross-disciplinary awareness of the survey and polling literature, as scientists in these fields grapple with many of the same problems that occur in sensory and consumer science. One idea that has developed in survey research, highlighted in a review of the main accomplishments of the field over the 20th century, is the idea of the satisficing-optimizing continuum arising from a process model of the way that people answer questions .


In this technical report, we consider the implications of these ideas in a scenario involving a comparison of answers to questions in a check-all-that-apply (CATA) format and an applicability scoring format.


Figure 3. The satisficing − optimizing continuum.

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