Event Title

Reducing Careless Responding in Survey Research: The Effects of Honor Codes and Watchful Eyes

Presenter Information

Alexander McKay

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

College

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Major

Psychology

Location

RM-215-218

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Donna Garcia

Start Date

5-27-2014 1:00 PM

End Date

5-27-2014 5:30 PM

Abstract

Careless responders have a large impact on a study because they reduce the quality of the data, which then wastes researchers’ time and money. Research on careless responding has focused on detecting and removing careless responders rather than reducing careless responding before data collection begins. The purpose of the present study was to test different methods that reduce careless responding by increasing self-awareness. Two methods, the use of an honor code and watchful eyes, were tested. Participants (N=305) were randomly assigned to one of five honor code conditions (control condition, read-only condition, type condition, read-and-eyes condition, or type-and-eyes condition) and then completed a number of personality measures. The responses participants provided were screened for careless responding. I found that when participants only read an honor code without a picture of eyes on the screen, they were significantly more likely to engage in careless responding than the control condition. There was no significant difference in careless responding in the control condition compared to the other three conditions. The findings indicate that participants who were presented with an honor code and no other cues of moral behavior, might show psychological reactance, and respond carelessly as defiance. Additionally, there were no differences in participants’ responses across conditions on a number of personality measures that could be sensitive to increased self-awareness. The present study provides answers to a number of useful questions that can be used to improve data quality and reduce the negative effects of honor codes on careless responding behaviors.

Share

COinS
 
May 27th, 1:00 PM May 27th, 5:30 PM

Reducing Careless Responding in Survey Research: The Effects of Honor Codes and Watchful Eyes

RM-215-218

Careless responders have a large impact on a study because they reduce the quality of the data, which then wastes researchers’ time and money. Research on careless responding has focused on detecting and removing careless responders rather than reducing careless responding before data collection begins. The purpose of the present study was to test different methods that reduce careless responding by increasing self-awareness. Two methods, the use of an honor code and watchful eyes, were tested. Participants (N=305) were randomly assigned to one of five honor code conditions (control condition, read-only condition, type condition, read-and-eyes condition, or type-and-eyes condition) and then completed a number of personality measures. The responses participants provided were screened for careless responding. I found that when participants only read an honor code without a picture of eyes on the screen, they were significantly more likely to engage in careless responding than the control condition. There was no significant difference in careless responding in the control condition compared to the other three conditions. The findings indicate that participants who were presented with an honor code and no other cues of moral behavior, might show psychological reactance, and respond carelessly as defiance. Additionally, there were no differences in participants’ responses across conditions on a number of personality measures that could be sensitive to increased self-awareness. The present study provides answers to a number of useful questions that can be used to improve data quality and reduce the negative effects of honor codes on careless responding behaviors.