Question Order and Fair Play: Evidence of Even‐Handedness in Rural Surveys

Frederick O. Lorens, John Saltiel, Danny R. Hoyt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The norm of even‐handedness is a question‐order effect known to occur in face‐to‐face interviews when respondents favor one of two complementary or competing opinion questions, both written at the same level of specificity. After defining and illustrating the concept, evidence of even‐handedness in opinion questions is explored in a Montana mail survey and in recall of recent behavior in Iowa telephone interviews. The Montana survey provides evidence of education effects that are not consistent with previous theories of cognitive sophistication, suggesting that future research must consider the interaction between substantive issues and cognitive processes. The Iowa poll provides evidence that respondents' recall of their recent behaviors and the behaviors of their partner also are subject to context effects. This poll also provides evidence that even‐handedness operates independently of social desirablity, especially among women. 1995 Rural Sociological Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-653
Number of pages13
JournalRural Sociology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Question Order and Fair Play: Evidence of Even‐Handedness in Rural Surveys'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this