'Ff'lo (fflo) wrote,
'Ff'lo
fflo

that really works?

I was just reading this review of a paper in J. Statist. Plann. Inference on something called the item count technique (ICT) that researchers can use to try to get truthful answers on sensitive subjects. Supposedly the technique gives better results than straight-up questioning. The idea is that you have respondents indicate how many items on a list are true for them, then add the "sensitive" item & have them indicate the same thing for that list.

So here's the sample the authors give (pointing out that the instruction not to return the questionnaire to the interviewer is important & must be made clear):

For each one of the following statements give a score of 1 in the right column if the statement applies to you and a score of 0 if not. If a statement consists of two substatements, such as in Statement 2 or Statement 4, a score of 1 should be given if at least one of the substatements applies and a score of 0 if none of them does. Count the number of 1's put in the right column. This is your total score. Report the total score and nothing else. Do not return the questionnaire. It is given to you for your convenience. ["for your convenience"?? --Fflo]

Questionnaire 1
       Statement                                                  Score
1  I have never been hospitalized
2  Substatement 2a: I do have hay fever
   Substatement 2b: I do have eczema
3  I have taken antibiotics during the last two years
4  Substatement 4a: I make use of marijuana
   Substatement 4b: During my childhood I did not have asthma
5  At least one of my parents was a smoker during my childhood
6  I consider smoking no less harmful than the use of marijuana

Total Score _______


Questionnaire 2
       Statement                                                  Score
1  I have never been hospitalized
2  Substatement 2a: I do have hay fever
   Substatement 2b: I do have eczema
3  I have taken antibiotics during the last two years
4  Substatement 4a: I do not make use of marijuana
   Substatement 4b: During my childhood I did not have asthma
5  At least one of my parents was a smoker during my childhood
6  I consider smoking no less harmful than the use of marijuana

Total Score _______
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