Matching survey responses to official records: An exploration of validity in victimization reporting

Peter V. Miller*, Robert M. Groves

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Record check studies-involving the comparison of survey responses with external record evidence-are a familiar tool in survey methodology. The findings of a recently conducted reverse record check study are reported here. The analyses examine match rates between survey reports and police records, employing more or less restrictive match criteria-e.g., using various computer algorithms versus human judgments. The analyses reveal marked differences in the level of survey-record correspondence. Since the level of match rate appears highly variable depending on the definition of a "match," we advocate reexamination of the "lessons" of previous record check studies which employed only vaguely specified match criteria. We argue, further, that record evidence may best be employed in constructing alternative indicators of phenomena to be measured, rather than as the arbiter of survey response quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-380
Number of pages15
JournalPublic Opinion Quarterly
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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