2013scoboriafisicojepappdkencouraged.doc

Another view emphasizes social influences on

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as unanswerable (see also, Mazzoni & Kirsch, 2001; Singer & Tiede, 2008). Another view emphasizes social influences on responding. Smith and Clark (1993) proposed that responding is guided by two social communicative goals: exchange of information
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ENCOURAGING AND CLARIFYING DON’T KNOW RESPONSES… 9 and self-presentation. Responding is affected by beliefs about how responses will be viewed by the interviewer. They argue that people use a model that ideal respondents provide the requested information, with reasonable confidence, within a reasonable amount of time. Failure to fulfill these goals risks the respondent being viewed as uncooperative, ignorant, and/or as engaging in delay. Their data suggests that people use DK responses and other behaviors (e.g., intonation, hedging) to manage self-presentation when answering questions. Ackerman and Goldsmith (2008) reach a related conclusion through work that extends the strategic regulation model to include a ‘minimum informativeness’ criterion. This criterion is defined as the self-assessed level of detail viewed as adequate to fulfill minimal communicative norms. They found that people sometimes sacrifice accuracy or say DK rather than make uninformative responses. These various findings show that decisions about responding are partly influenced by social beliefs. The Present Studies This research examines the influence of encouraging vs. discouraging DK responses, and the clarification of meanings of DK responses on responding. We expected that encouraging DK responses would lead to more DK responses (lower output), which should be associated with higher response quality (more correct and/or fewer errors) only if encouragement does not promote the indiscriminate use of DK statements. An interesting question is how DK responses would be used by a non-instructed control group. If DK instructions affect the response criterion, then the controls may fall between the encouraged and discouraged groups. If controls assume that responses are expected, then the discouraged and control groups may respond similarly. As to the meanings of DK responses, we expected clarification to reveal a majority of DK responses to be statements about the presence or non-presence of information. If metacognitive regulation is effective, then most of these should be correct (i.e., ‘not present’ for unanswerable,
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ENCOURAGING AND CLARIFYING DON’T KNOW RESPONSES… 10 ‘present not remembered’ for answerable questions), and confidence should be higher for correct clarified statements. We also expected to find more ‘present not remembered’ responses to answerable questions in the encouraged group, reflecting greater use of coarse grain statements. The possibility of distinct pathways for rejecting unanswerable questions also led us to wonder whether instructions about DK responses would impact initial spontaneous rejections and/or delayed ‘not present’ statements. In particular, earlier rejections may be less susceptible by social manipulation than DK responses that are later clarified to be rejections.
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  • Fall '17
  • Jane Moore
  • Centrifugation, Journal of Experimental Psychology, Fourteen unanswerable questions, dk responses, Alan Scoboria

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