Are consumer survey results distorted? systematic impact of behavioral frequency and duration on survey response errors

Eunkyu Lee, Michael Y. Hu, Rex S. Toh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using a large-scale consumer database created by AT&T, the authors investigate how actual behavioral frequency and duration systematically affect the direction of errors in consumer survey responses. By analyzing errors in consumers' reports on their frequency of using long-distance telephone calls, letters, cards, and visits for personal communication, the authors demonstrate that high-frequency groups underreported their behavioral frequencies, whereas low-frequency groups overreported them. Similarly, the results show that consumers underestimate the duration of lengthy telephone conversations, whereas they overestimate the duration of short ones. Overall, the authors find that people tend to overestimate both frequency and duration. These compressive regressive effects toward the mean and overall upward bias for both frequency and duration estimations result in a distorted view of the market, which will be incorrectly perceived to be more homogeneous and larger than it really is.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-133
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

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