Exploring survey response process with response latency data: Ideology and political sophistication

Masahisa Endo, Arata Yamazaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of advantages of a CASI mode in conducting surveys is that it enables us to record and analyze people's response latency, a new type of dataset for survey researchers. Response latency data, which records seconds which it takes from the timing of interviewers' asking a question to the timing of respondents' answering it, is useful to explore processes to express answers in surveys that we cannot know through analyzing peoples' response only. By analyzing it, this study attempts to show possibilities for survey analysis. To do so, we investigate the relationship between people's ideology and a concept of political sophistication by comparing the survey answering process of perceptions of ideological positions with that of political knowledge. The results show that respondents answer questions of ideology and political knowledge, both of which are considered to be measurements of political sophistication, in very different cognitive processes; it takes longer time to correctly answer parties' ideological conflict, while correct answers for factual questions are expressed instantly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-240
Number of pages16
JournalSociological Theory and Methods
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • CAI survey
  • Ideology
  • Political knowledge
  • Political sophistication
  • Response latency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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