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An Introduction to Semantic Theory of Survey Response

January 26, 2018 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

J. Ketil Arnulf, Norwegian Business School & Kim Nimon, University of Texas

Abstract: The Semantic Theory of Survey Response (STSR) states that when survey respondents are asked to reply in terms of their attitude strength, as is common in, for example, Likert scales, the most likely source of variation is from language understanding shared by all rather than from respondents’ shared experiences as a group. In STSR, this variance is often tested by calculating the semantic or lexical similarity among survey items using natural language processing tools such as Latent Semantic Analysis, and using these similarities to predict or explain correlations. So far, several leadership and IS theories have been shown to be largely explainable through such analysis (Arnulf & Larsen, 2015; Arnulf, Larsen, Martinsen, & Bong, 2014; Gefen & Larsen, 2017; Larsen & Bong, 2013; Nimon, Shuck, & Zigarmi, 2015), and a forthcoming paper in Behavior Research Methods extends the work to the individual respondent level (Arnulf, Larsen, Martinsen, & Egeland, 2018). Join to discuss whether Rensis Likert has led the psychometric disciplines on an 85-year wild goose chase, and how to STSR-proof surveys


January 26, 2018
11:00 am - 12:00 pm


Koelbel 304
Leeds School of Business Univerity of Colorado Boulder 995 Regent Drive
Boulder, CO 80309-0419
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