Response scales: Effects of category range on reported behavior and comparative judgments

Explored the effects of the range of response categories provided in a closed-answer format on behavioral reports and subsequent judgments in 2 experiments with 132 Ss (aged 18 yrs or older) and 79 employees. Ss reported their daily use of TV along a scale that ranged either from up to 30 min to more than 2.5 hrs (Group 1) or from up to 2.5 hrs to more than 4.5 hrs (Group 2). Ss in Group 1 reported less use of TV and estimated the average use of TV to be lower than did Ss in Group 2. Findings also show that Ss in Group 1 evaluated TV to be more important in their lives and reported less satisfaction with the variety of their leisure-time activities than did Ss in Group 2. These results indicate that Ss inferred the average amount of TV watching from the response alternatives provided and used it as a standard of comparison in evaluating their behavior and its implications. (8 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)