Survey self-assessments, reporting behaviour and the use of externally collected vignettes

AuthorsMark Harris, Rachel Knott, Paula Lorgelly, Nigel Rice
PublishedNovember 2015
PublisherBankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper Series
Number of Pages26

The anchoring vignette approach has grown in popularity as a method to adjust for reporting heterogeneity in subjective self-reports, removing bias due to systematic variation in reporting styles across study respondents. The use of anchoring vignettes, however, has been limited to surveys where both self-reports and vignette questions have been included. This diminishes their wider application. We illustrate, using an application to self-assessed health in a large household survey, how externally collected vignettes can be used to adjust for reporting heterogeneity in self-reports observed in datasets where vignettes have not been included. Given that self-reports to survey questions are an important facet of social research to understand differences across socio-economic groups and populations, we anticipate the approach described will lead to new applications of the anchoring vignette methodology.