Accession Number : AD0726687

Title :   Cognitive Demand Characteristics, Consistency and Complexity: On the Lack of Correspondence between Questionnaire Data and Behavior.

Descriptive Note : Technical rept.,

Corporate Author : PURDUE UNIV LAFAYETTE IND

Personal Author(s) : Heslin,Richard ; Streufert,Siegfried

Report Date : NOV 1970

Pagination or Media Count : 28

Abstract : The discrepancy between measured idealized behavior of subjects based on paper and pencil scales and actual behavior obtained in complex tasks is discussed. The discrepancy is defined as a 'cognitive demand characteristic.' Potential errors based on paper and pencial measurement when interpretations are generalized to wider contexts are pointed out. An experiment designed to demonstrate cognitive demand characteristics is reported. Subjects participated in a complex decision-making task and repeatedly responded to measures of behavioral intent and to measures of post hoc actual behavior. In addition, counts of actual behavior characteristics in the task were obtained. According to consistency or social desirability predictions, subjects should have avoided or narrowed any discrepancy between ideal (intended) and actual behavior. However, the results showed a constant discrepancy between actual and ideal behavior. The effect of this cognitive demand characteristic was somewhat larger for subjects of simple conceptual structure than for subjects of complex conceptual structure. (Author)

Descriptors :   (*PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS, ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE), BEHAVIOR, QUESTIONNAIRES, DECISION MAKING, CORRELATION TECHNIQUES

Subject Categories : Psychology

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE