Friday, April 17, 2009

Time-sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences

Time-sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences (TESS) is an NSF infrastructure project that offers researchers opportunities to test their experimental ideas on large, diverse, randomly-selected subject populations. Investigators submit proposals for experimental studies, and TESS fields selected proposals on a random sample of the United States population using the Internet.

Dan Hopkins and Gary King have successfully submitted an experiment: "Priming to Improve Survey Measurement through Anchoring Vignettes". Their experimental module employed vignettes placed before or after a self-assessment question to determine whether answering vignettes first improved respondents’ capacities to provide meaningful responses. They find that: 1) asking individuals to assess themselves immediately after hearing the vignettes produced responses that were more closely related to key covariates; and 2) inconsistent responses were more likely when individuals were asked to compare themselves directly to hypothetical individuals.

Liam mentioned the relevant paper on the blog before (here). Interestingly, TESS data will be made available to other investigators one year after they are first made available to the authors of successful proposals. The data from the King and Hopkins experiment (and accompanying documentation) is available for download (data in SPSS .sav format).

Geary researchers may also be interseted to know that Howard Schuman (University of Michigan) successfully submitted an experiment entitled: "Recall vs. Judgment: Open-Closed Question Differences in Studying Collective Memory".
Eric Oliver (University of Chicago) and Taeku Lee (UC Berkeley) successfully submitted an experiment entitled "Measuring Perceptions and Attitudes about Overweight and Obesity".

No comments: