Response Errors in Surveys of Defensive Gun Use: A National Internet Survey Experiment

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Response Errors in Surveys of Defensive Gun Use: A National Internet Survey Experiment

Category: Defensive Gun Use|Journal: Crime & Delinquency (full text)|Author: G Kleck|Year: 2018

A national Internet survey of a probability sample of 5,550 U.S. adults was used to study possible sources of error in surveys of defensive gun use (DGU). Respondents (Rs) were randomly exposed to variant question wordings, question sequences, and combinations of questions. Rs were 70% more likely to report a victimization when they were instructed to report incidents involving offenders known to them, and 43% more likely to report a victimization if they were instructed to include incidents that resulted in no injury or property loss. Rs were 125% more likely to report DGUs if they were directly asked about DGU than if they were first asked about victimization experiences, then asked about DGU in connection with those experiences.

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