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Improving Public Opinion SurveysInterdisciplinary Innovation and the American National Election Studies$
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John H. Aldrich and Kathleen M. McGraw

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151458

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151458.001.0001

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Self-Monitoring and Political Attitudes

Self-Monitoring and Political Attitudes

(p.27) Chapter 3 Self-Monitoring and Political Attitudes
Improving Public Opinion Surveys

Adam J. Berinsky

Howard Lavine

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers self-monitoring, which assesses the extent to which people modify their behavior in response to the social context. In a climate governed by tolerant beliefs, analysts of public opinion face concerns about the accuracy with which attitudes and beliefs in sensitive domains (for example, race, sexuality) are measured. The chapter argues that self-monitoring can be useful in understanding which respondents are motivated to misrepresent their real preferences in surveys, and moreover presents several intriguing analyses that point to the value of self-monitoring in understanding responses to socially sensitive political topics. It proposes a question battery to account for how people's personality characteristics affect the answers they give to questions involving politically controversial topics.

Keywords:   self-monitoring, political attitudes, political controversy, political topics, question battery, personality characteristics, social desirable response, SDR, Self-Monitoring Scale

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