While the visual design of a question has been shown to influence responses in survey research, it is less understood how these effects extend to assessment-based questions that attempt to measure how, rather than just what, a respondent thinks. For example, in a divergent thinking task, the number and elaboration of responses, not just how original they are, contribute to the assessment of creativity. Using the Alternative Uses Task in an online survey, we demonstrated that scores on fluency, elaboration, and originality, core constructs of participants’ assessed creative ability, were systematically influenced by the visual design of the response boxes. The extent to which participants were susceptible to these effects varied with individual differences in trait conscientiousness, as several of these effects were seen in participants with high, but not low, conscientiousness. Overall, our results are consistent with previous survey methodology findings, extend them to the
domain of creativity research, and call for increased awareness and transparency of visual design decisions across research fields.
Mohr, A. H., Sell, A., & Lindsay, T. (2015). Thinking Inside the Box Visual Design of the Response Box Affects Creative Divergent Thinking in an Online Survey. Social Science Computer Review, 0894439315588736.
Hofelich Mohr, Alicia; Sell, Andrew; Lindsay, Thomas.
Thinking Inside the Box: Visual Design of the Response Box Affects Creative Divergent Thinking in an Online Survey.
Social Science Computer Review, SAGE.
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