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Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
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Elena Tochilina
Response Styles Identification in Expert Survey Secondary Data Analysis
2017
Response style is a tendency to evaluate subjects in accordance with patterns that are independent of the content of the questions. The paper makes an attempt to propose an approach for identification and calculation of overoptimism and overpessimism bias in expert forecast surveys. These tendencies consist of excessive optimism of experts estimates for the future events timing in the short term and redundant pessimism for more distant future. For conducting the research we propose to use methodology developed for identification and adjustment of one of response styles type – respondents' preference of the extreme categories of the ordinal scales.

The paper analyzes the main approaches proposed in the literature for measuring and correcting this response style. Considering their advantages and disadvantages, a methodological framework for data analysis has been defined. As an empirical data for the analysis there were used the results of expert survey about technological trends in the agricultural industry. At the first stage of the analysis, it was shown that the results of this expert survey illustrate shifts in experts' estimates to the extreme periods (at the very beginning and close to the end of the considered time range), depending on the type of trend in terms of its distance to the future.

At the next stage, latent-class factor analysis was applied for a more detailed estimation of the nature of the displacement of the forecast estimates for trends assayed.

And finally, it was shown that one of the latent factors has the nonmonotonic U-shaped form of the association with the categories of predictors. The fact that it is expressed only for extreme categories is a manifestation of the concerned response style (preference of the extreme categories) in the experts' answers for near and distant future forecasting.

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