Obviousness of Measures
Tip: Have members of the target population review affective and psychosocial measures for clarity. Ask them what concepts they think are being measured. If what is being measured is obvious and there are sex, race, or disability stereotypes associated with the concepts, consider using a less obvious measure, if an equally valid measure is available.
Rationale: People's responses to a measure can be different when the purpose of the measure is obvious:
- Answers of White people to multiple choice type survey questions on race were different than their responses to in-depth questions on race.1
- Gender differences were greatest in tests when it was very clear what gender related concepts, like empathy, were being measured.2
- Job application ratings were higher when raters thought the candidate had a disability because the researchers felt the raters realized the study was investigating attitudes toward workers with disabilities. 3
1 Bonilla-Silva, E., & Zuberi, T. (2008). Toward a definition of white logic and white methods. In T. Zuberi & E. Bonilla-Silva (Eds.), White logic, White methods. Racism and methodology. New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
2 Eisenberg, N., & Lennon, R. (1983). Sex differences in empathy and related capacities. Psychological Bulletin, 94(1), 100-131. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.94.1.100
3 Bell, B. S., & Klein, K. J. (2001). Effects of disability, gender, and job level on ratings of job applicants. Rehabilitation Psychology, 46(3), 229-246. doi:10.1037/0090-55126.96.36.199