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Identifying careless responding to improve survey construction and results.
Most people are pretty careful about what to believe on their social media feed, but do they apply the same care to their internet surveys at work? It’s an important issue. The clinical trials industry uses internet surveys for competitor analysis, customer satisfaction/feedback, or even to measure patient outcomes. Internet surveys are ubiquitous and overwhelming so it is easy to respond carelessly.
The purpose of this blog is to describe what careless responding is and how we can avoid and identify careless responses.
Careless responding refers to survey responses that are random or do not reflect the degree to which the construct is present in the respondent. Carelessness is increased when there is a lot of surveys, or when surveys are forced on us, not relevant to us, or force us to respond to items for which we have no opinion. (Boto et al. 12/21 ACT;Duamis & Raymond, 12/21 ACT; Galwicki ACT 11/11). Careless responding can be due to inattention (either partial or complete), fatigue, time pressure, or socially desirable responding. Careless responding is common, varying between 3% to 50%, depending on the context. Measurement problems begin to occur with as little as 10% careless responding (Meade and Craig 2012). The technical consequences of careless responding includes decreasing the reliability of measures, obscure validity, and increase the risk of Type 2 error.
Michael Howley PA-C, MBA, PhD, and Peter Malamis MBA