Response-Order Effects in Survey Methods: A Randomized Controlled Crossover Study in the Context of Sport Injury Prevention

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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Consistency tendency is characterized by the propensity for participants responding to subsequent items in a survey consistent with their responses to previous items. This method effect might contaminate the results of sport psychology surveys using cross-sectional design. We present a randomized controlled crossover study examining the effect of consistency tendency on the motivational pathway (i.e., autonomy support → autonomous motivation → intention) of self-determination theory in the context of sport injury prevention. Athletes from Sweden (N = 341) responded to the survey printed in either low interitem distance (IID; consistency tendency likely) or high IID (consistency tendency suppressed) on two separate occasions, with a one-week interim period. Participants were randomly allocated into two groups, and they received the survey of different IID at each occasion. Bayesian structural equation modeling showed that low IID condition had stronger parameter estimates than high IID condition, but the differences were not statistically significant.

Derwin K.C. Chan is with Curtin University, Australia, and with the Institute of Human Performance, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. Andreas Ivarsson is with the Centre for Research on Welfare, Health and Sport, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden. Andreas Stenling is with the Department of Psychology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden. Sophie Xin Yang is with Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia, and with the Business School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China. Nikos L.D. Chatzisarantis is with the Psychology Department, Bentley Campus, Perth, WA, Australia. Martin S. Hagger is the School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia.

Address author correspondence to Derwin K.C. Chan at derwin.chan@hku.hk.