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Asking difficult questions: Task complexity increases the impact of response alternatives

Points out that in providing behavioral frequency reports, respondents use the range of the response alternatives as a frame of reference, resulting in higher estimates on scales that offer high rather than low values. 133 Ss were asked to report either the absolute or the relative frequency with which they engaged in different activities, on a response scale that provided either high or low frequency response alternatives. Results indicate that respondents' reliance on estimation strategies increases with increasing question difficulty. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)