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June 1990 (Volume 68)
Jared B. Jobe
Andrew A. White
Catherine L. Kelley
David J. Mingay
Marcus J. Sanchez
Elizabeth F. Loftus
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Complex questions in health surveys place heavy cognitive demands on respondents, prompting researchers to appraise how specific cognitive interventions may improve the accuracy of people’s answers. Investigators in one experiment asked participants to recall visits to medical providers in forward, backward, or no particular order, and matched results with providers’ records. “Free” recall proved marginally superior to forward or backward ordering, although overall respondents underreported the number of visits by 20 percent; participants’ gender and self-reported health status, among other factors, also affected quality of recall. The experiment lends support to contentions that the methods of cognitive science applied to survey research better the accuracy of population survey data.
Author(s): Jared B. Jobe; Andrew A. White; Catherine L. Kelley; David J. Mingay; Marcus J. Sanchez; Elizabeth F. Loftus
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Volume 68, Issue 2 (pages 171–189) Published in 1990
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The Milbank Quarterly’s multidisciplinary approach and commitment to applying the best empirical research to practical policymaking offers in-depth assessments of the social, economic, historical, legal, and ethical dimensions of health and health care policy.