[gov3009-l] Glynn on "What Can We Learn with Statistical Truth Serum?"

Matt Blackwell mblackwell at iq.harvard.edu
Mon Nov 30 16:29:56 EST 2009

Hello all,

We hope you can join us this Wednesday, December 2nd for the final
Applied Statistics Workshop of the term, when we will have Adam Glynn
(Department of Government) presenting his talk entitled "What Can We
Learn with Statistical Truth Serum?"  Adam has provided the following

Due to the inherent sensitivity of many survey questions, a number of
researchers have adopted indirect questioning techniques in order to
minimize bias due to dishonest or evasive responses. Recently, one
such technique, known as the list experiment (and also known as the
item count technique or the unmatched count technique), has become
increasingly popular due to its feasibility in online surveys. In this
talk, I will present results from two studies that utilize list
experiments and discuss the implications of these results for the
design and analysis of future studies. In particular, these studies
demonstrate that, when the key assumptions hold, standard practice
ignores relevant information available in the data, and when the key
assumptions do not hold, standard practice will not detect some
detectable violations of these assumptions.

A copy of the companion paper will appear on our website shortly:

The workshop will begin at 12 noon with a light lunch and wrap up by
1:30. We meet in room K354 of CGIS Knafel (1737 Cambridge St). We hope
you can make it.


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