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Formatting and Presentation as Confounds in Online Studies

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Doi: 10.20982/tqmp.12.3.p243

Engelbrecht, Jessica L. , Edlund, John E.
Keywords: participant biases , online studies , survey construction , order effects
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Participant biases are a well-documented part of psychological research, and accounting for common biases (e.g., participant acquiescence) is now commonplace. However, the role that online survey construction plays in handling or aggravating these biases has not been as deeply investigated. The current research asked participants to complete a simple trait attribution task in the form of an online survey in which the scale type, order of stimuli presentation, and presence of page breaks varied. As hypothesized, these varying presentation features impacted participant responses. Precautions for avoiding these errors are discussed, as well as the possible implications for replicability in social psychology.

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