Item Sum: A New Technique for Asking Quantitative Sensitive Questions

Trappmann, Mark; Krumpal, Ivar; Kirchner, Antje; Jann, Ben (2014). Item Sum: A New Technique for Asking Quantitative Sensitive Questions. Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology, 2(1), pp. 58-77. Oxford University Press 10.1093/jssam/smt019

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This article contributes to an ongoing debate about how to measure sensitive topics in population surveys. We propose a novel technique that can be applied to the measurement of quantitative sensitive variables: the item sum technique (IST). This method is closely related to the item count technique, which was developed for the measurement of dichotomous sensitive items. First, we provide a description of our new technique and discuss how data collected by the IST can be analyzed. Second, we present the results of a CATI survey on undeclared work in Germany, in which the IST has been applied. Using an experimental design, we compare the IST to direct questioning. Our empirical results indicate that the IST is a promising data-collection technique for sensitive questions. We conclude by discussing the limitations of the new technique and outlining possible improvements for future studies.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Sociology

UniBE Contributor:

Krumpal, Ivar and Jann, Ben

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology

ISSN:

2325-0984

Publisher:

Oxford University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Ben Jann

Date Deposited:

06 Oct 2014 15:25

Last Modified:

01 May 2015 02:30

Publisher DOI:

10.1093/jssam/smt019

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.48492

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/48492

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