SAGE Journal Articles
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Research That Matters: Thorsen, Maggie L. and Jennifer Pearce-Morris. 2016. "Adolescent Mental Health and Dating in Young Adulthood." Society and Mental Health 6(3):223:245.
Abstract: Survey measures of gender have been critiqued for failing to reflect the diversity of the population. Conventionally, respondents to national surveys are categorized as female or male. Calls for improvement have centered on adding additional categories, such as transgender. We propose that in addition to revising categorical gender measures, national surveys should incorporate gradational measures of femininity and masculinity to better reflect gender diversity and sharpen models of gender inequality. Our results from two national pilot studies show that conventional measures mask significant variation within the categories of female and male. For example, less than a quarter of respondents reported that they are very feminine or masculine, respectively, and not at all the other. We also demonstrate that scale responses can be treated as independent variables in studies of inequality or as dependent variables that allow gender identification to be an outcome of social processes.
Abstract: Question grids are common on Web surveys, and studies show that grids can affect how respondents complete surveys. However, there is little research that investigates the effects of grids on Web surveys completed on mobile devices. In this article, we evaluate the effects of question grids on response quality and measurement error for surveys taken on phones or tablets. Our study draws on a probabilistic Web survey. The survey included an experiment in which respondents were assigned to one of three question format conditions: one large grid, two small grids, or single item per page. We analyze how question grids affect response times and nondifferentiation as well as explore the interaction effects between grids and devices. Reductions in time associated with question grids were greater for surveys completed on mobile devices as opposed to those completed on computers. Likewise, the increases in nondifferentiation associated with question grids were greater for surveys completed on mobile devices. We find that effects of question grids on responses in Web surveys can differ across devices, and so researchers should be cautious of using grids on Web surveys as more people opt to do surveys on phones or tablets.