Measurement Issues

Affect Heuristic

A type of cognitive heuristic (see “Cognitive Heuristic”) in which consumers rely upon their current emotional state (see “Emotions”) to judge the risks and benefits to simplify a decision. Sometimes referred to as “going with your gut.”

Bias, Acquiescence

A type of cognitive bias (see “Bias, Cognitive”) whereby research participants tend to agree with, or respond positively to questions/stimuli that are presented to them in an effort to please the researcher or ease the burden of the survey. Also referred to as “Yea Saying.”

Bias, Authority

A type of cognitive bias (see “Bias, Cognitive”) where an individual attributes to persons of authority greater knowledge and accuracy of opinion, and is more likely to be influenced by their opinion. See also “Celebrity Endorsement.”

Bias, Confirmation

A type of cognitive bias (see “Bias, Cognitive”) where people interpret new information in a way that supports or confirms their prior beliefs. For example, people who believe a brand is low-quality may tend to view a sale on the brand as confirmation of that low-quality.

Bias, Context Effect

A type of cognitive bias (see “Bias, Cognitive”) where environmental factors (for example, lighting or comfort) or experimental conditions (for example, surrounding questions on a survey) influence an individual’s perception and memory of a stimulus and can impact decision making.

Bias, In-Group

A type of cognitive bias (see “Bias, Cognitive”) where individuals within a defined group give preferential treatment to or hold more positive views of other individuals in the group (versus members outside of the group).

Bias, Measurement Instrument

A type of systematic error (see “Systematic Error”) or bias (see “Bias, Systematic”) caused by an error from the measurement instrument used in a media and market research study (for example, the design of a questionnaire).

Bias, Nonresponse

A type of systematic error (see “Systematic Error”) or bias (see “Bias, Systematic”) in research whereby respondents fail to respond. For example, people who earn higher household incomes are sometimes less likely to answer questions about how much they earn than people who earn lower household incomes; a tendency that results in a skewed picture of the overall sample’s income.

Bias, Observation

A type of cognitive bias (see “Bias, Cognitive”) where a researcher’s interpretation of participant’s behavior or responses are influenced by prior knowledge on the topic, subjective feelings about the group or individual being studied, and/or expectations about the results. Also referred to as “Observer Effect.”

Bias, Response

In media and market research, a general term representing a bias (see “Bias”), or tendency, for research participants to respond in a dishonest or misleading way, either consciously or nonconsciously. For example, certain respondents may tend to agree with an interviewer, no matter what the interviewer asks. Other respondents may give generally truthful responses, but withhold information that they think is embarassing or shameful. This can be caused by a variety of factors, and can significantly impact the validity of research involving participant self-report (see “Self-Report” or “Explicit”). Also referred to as “Survey Bias.”