Saturday, April 18, 2009

Some Like It Hot

Paul Gottemoller and Randolph Burnside from the Department of Political Science at Southern Illinois University have written a paper entitled "Are They Still Hot?: Utilizing Feeling Thermometers and Anchoring Vignettes to Measure Affect". Paper available here. Abstract here.

The authors recount how "feeling thermometers" have been used in survey research since the beginnings of modern survey research - this is a way to ascertain individual feelings in a multitude of settings. They emphasise that it is difficult to compare one respondent’s self-ranking to another respondent’s self-ranking, because different respondents may be using different criteria to evaluate their feelings towards the group.

The authors describe how using anchoring vignettes corrects for these problems by providing respondents with 5 vignettes representing different areas of the 101 degree thermometer scale. Respondents are asked to place each vignette on the feeling thermometer and also rank themselves.

It is suggested that an added value of using anchoring vignettes for feeling thermometers is that socially undesirable feeling will be easier to detect. The use of anchoring vignettes in this study provides preliminary evidence of their effectiveness when examining feelings towards African Americans and homosexuals.

1 comment:

Kevin Denny said...

cool poster