Studies of Welfare Populations: Data Collection and Research Issues. Measurement Error Associated with Autobiographical Information: Theoretical Framework

06/01/2002

Three distinct literatures provide the basis for the theoretical framework underlying investigations of measurement error in surveys. These theoretical foundations come from the fields of cognitive psychology, social psychology, and to a lesser extent, social linguistics.(1) Although research concerning the existence, direction, magnitude as well as correlates of response error have provided insight into the factors associated with measurement error, there are few fundamental principles that inform either designers of data collection efforts or analysts of survey data as to the circumstances, either individual or design based, under which measurement error is most likely to be significant or not. Those tenets that appear to be robust across substantive areas are outlined in the following sections.

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