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Measuring attentiveness on self-administered surveys

Adam Berinsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

ABSTRACT: Inattentive and distracted respondents are increasingly a concern for survey researchers. The failure of respondents to pay attention to questions and treatments introduces noise into data sets, weakening correlations between items and increasing the likelihood of null findings. The Instructional Manipulation Check, or “Screener", has recently been proposed as a way to identify inattentive respondents. While Screeners hold potential for identifying inattentive respondents, questions remain regarding their implementation. In this talk, I will discuss the costs and benefits of using measures of attentiveness of self-administered surveys. The talk will be based on these two articles, as well as on ongoing research.

BIO: Adam Berinsky is the Mitsui Professor of Political Science at MIT. He studies the political behavior of ordinary citizens. While he is primarily concerned with questions of representation and the communication of public sentiment to political elites, he has also studied public opinion and foreign policy, the continuing power of group-based stereotypes, the effect of voting reforms, the power of the media, and survey research methods. In 2013, Adam received the Warren J. Mitofsky Award for Excellence in Public Opinion Research, for outstanding work on public opinion or survey methodology.

As always, you can see the list of upcoming speakers on our website [] and I have also included a short list of next semester's future speakers and dates at the end of this message.
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When and Where

Map Haven Hall - 5670-- Eldersveld

March 2018

4:00pm - 6:00pm

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