General strategy. Give one half the class one version of a short survey and the other half a different version. Other than variations in wording, the two surveys are the same. Administer the surveys and then have students compare responses to the two surveys.
Ways to Implement the strategy
A data file containing each participant's condition number (Condition 1 or Condition 2) and each participant's responses to the six question (responses to the Condition 2 survey are reverse scored) is available from this link.
To understand the structure of the data file, suppose four participants all participated in the survey on January 18, 2005, between 8:28 and 8:35 in the morning, and all used the same computer (one with the IP address 220.127.116.11). The first participant was in Condition 1 and strongly disagreed with all six items. The second participant was also in Condition 1 but strongly agreed with all six items. The third participant was in Condition 2 and strongly disagreed with all six items (note that the computer will reverse score that participants' responses). The fourth participant received the second version of the survey and strongly agreed with all six items (again, note that the comptuer will reverse score responses from the second version of the survey). In that case, the data file will look like the following:
0/18/105, 8:33:1, 18.104.22.168, Condition 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 endline
0/18/105, 8:34:41, 22.214.171.124, Condition 1, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7 endline
0/18/105, 8:28:41, 126.96.36.199, Condition 2, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7 endline
0/18/105, 8:31:2, 188.8.131.52, Condition 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 endline
If you want to create a data file that contains only the data from your students, tell your students to put a certain number (e.g., 8) in the code number box. For example, if all your students put the number 8 in the code number box, their data will be stored in the file
If, on the other hand, they all put the number 66 in the box, their data will be stored in the file
For more information, see
Madson, L. (2005). Demonstrating the importance of question wording on surveys. Teaching of Psychology, 32, 40-43.
Carducci, B. J. (1996). Fighting shyness with shyness: An exercise in survey methodology and
self-awareness. Teaching of Psychology, 23, 241-243.
To get a software program that will allow you to administer the survey from the web or from a desktop computer, download a trial version of InspireData.
If you want students to do their survey online, you can have them set up free accounts at any of the following sites:
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