- Oxford Library of Psychology
- Oxford Library of Psychology
- About the Editor
- Language and Social Psychology: Introduction and Overview
- Language Attitudes: Social Determinants and Consequences of Language Variation
- Language, Identity, and Culture: Multiple Identity-Based Perspectives
- Language and Culture
- Gender Similarities and Differences in Language
- Working Together
- Perspective Taking and Its Impostors in Language Use: Four Patterns of Deception
- Hand and Facial Gestures in Conversational Interaction
- Interactive Alignment and Language Use
- Cognitive and Social Aspects of Coherence
- Shaping Intergroup Relations Through Language
- Language, Style, and Persuasion
- Language and Interpersonal Relationships
- Natural Language Use as a Marker of Personality
- Using Computerized Text Analysis to Track Social Processes
- Language and Social Comprehension
- Language and Attribution: Implicit Causal and Dispositional Information Contained in Words
- Me and My Stories
- The Role of Language on the Perception and Experience of Emotion
- Discursive Social Psychology
- Grounding Language in Our Bodies and the World
- Literal Versus Nonliteral Language: Novelty Matters
- Intentions in Meaningful Experiences of Language
- Electrophysiological Research on Conversation and Discourse Processing
- Politeness and Reasoning: Face, Connectives, and Quantifiers
- Language Variation in the Classroom
- Pragmatic Processes in Survey Interviewing
- Language and the Law: Illustrations from Cases of Disputed Sexual Consent
- The Role of Language in Conflict and Conflict Resolution
- Computer-Mediated Communication
- The Role of Natural Language and Discourse Processing in Advanced Tutoring Systems
Abstract and Keywords
In interpreting survey questions, respondents rely as much on the pragmatics of everyday communication as they do on interpreting syntax or literal meaning. Respondents make inferences about the intended meaning of questions based on a large array of contextual cues, from judgments about the researcher to their sense of how common ground builds up in ordinary conversation and their perception of the actions of interviewers (or automated interviewing systems). How respondents answer questions—the speed and fluency of their answers or requests for clarification—is informative about the accuracy and reliability of their answers. Although survey respondents try to make sense of questions using whatever conversational resources they can bring to bear, researchers are often insensitive to these processes and surprised by their impact.
Frederick G. Conrad is Research Professor and Director, Michigan Program in Survey Methodology, University of Michigan and Joint Program in Survey Methodology, University of Maryland.
Michael F. Schober is Professor of Psychology at the New School for Social Research.
Norbert Schwarz is Provost Professor in the Department of Psychology and Marshall School of Business at the U of Southern California.
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