Asking comparative questions: The impact of the direction of comparison

Extended the work of A. Tversky and I. Gati (1978) on similarity judgments in 4 studies with 118 college students and 617 adults. Evidence was first presented that the direction of comparison suggested in a question can have a substantial impact on the obtained responses, and specific assumptions regarding the underlying processes were tested. The results demonstrate that the direction of comparison elicited by the wording of the question can have a strong impact on the obtained results. In some instances, a reversal in the direction of comparison (i.e., comparing A to B vs B to A) resulted in a reversal of the ordinal ranking. Implications for question wording are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)