Response Variation Due to Wording and Semantics
A look at how the way questions are phrased can affect responses to something even as objective as the height of Mount Everest.
“Prior to this experiment, we hypothesized anchor length would have a significant effect on a participant’s estimate of the height of Mount Everest. The results of a survey of 36 undergraduate college students were examined in an attempt to understand the relationship between anchor length and response variation. Participants were given a survey questioning the height of Mount Everest. Three conditions were randomly assigned-control, low, and high anchor length. Results indicated a significant difference between anchor length and response variation. These findings were congruent with the results of Stack and Mussweiler (1997) in which semantic priming and anchor wording resulted in response variation. ”