A Hard Test of Individual Heterogeneity in Response Scale Usage: Evidence from Qatar

Justin J. Gengler*, Jocelyn S. Mitchell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Scopus citations


A common approach to correcting for interpersonal differences in response category thresholds in surveys is the use of anchoring vignettes. Here we present results from the first applications of anchoring vignettes in Qatar and, to our knowledge, the Arab world. We extend previous findings both geographically and substantively to show that a range of social and demographic variables account for important variation in response scale use in the domains of economic well-being and political efficacy, and that this variation leads to substantively misleading conclusions when not appropriately modeled. Qatar's exceptionally homogeneous citizenry presents a uniquely hard test of response scale heterogeneity, and our results suggest that potentially obfuscating differences in individual reporting styles are even more ubiquitous than previously known.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-124
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Public Opinion Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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