chapter  2
Surveys, Experiments, and the Psychology of Self-Report
WithNorbert Schwarz
Pages 24

Much of what we know about consumer behavior is based on answers that consumers give to questions asked in surveys and experiments. Unfortunately, how we ask the questions often shapes the answers we get, which can threaten the validity of research results. The first section of this chapter highlights key elements of surveys and experiments and discusses what we can learn from each. Subsequently, I turn to the question-answering process and review core insights from several decades of research into the psychology of self-report. How do research participants make sense of the questions asked? How do they answer questions about behavior? How do they answer questions about attitudes and preferences? And how can we avoid the worst pitfalls in these domains?