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Eliciting beliefs as distributions in online surveys


Leemann, Lucas; Stoetzer, Lukas; Traunmueller, Richard (2017). Eliciting beliefs as distributions in online surveys. In: 7th Annual General Conference of the European Political Science Association, Milan, Italy, 22 June 2017 - 24 June 2017, EPSA.

Abstract

Citizens’ beliefs about uncertain events are fundamental variables in many areas of political science. While beliefs are often conceptualized in the form of distributions, obtaining reliable measures in terms of full probability densities is a difficult task. In this letter we ask whether there is an effective way to elicit beliefs as distributions in the context of (online) surveys? Relying on experimental evidence, we evaluate the performance of five different elicitation methods designed to capture citizens’ uncertain expectations. Our results suggest that an elicitation method originally proposed by Manski (2009) performs well. It reliably measures the subjective belief distribution of average citizens and is easily implemented in the context of regular (online) surveys. We expect that a wider use of this method will lead to considerable improvements in the study of citizens’ expectations and beliefs.

Abstract

Citizens’ beliefs about uncertain events are fundamental variables in many areas of political science. While beliefs are often conceptualized in the form of distributions, obtaining reliable measures in terms of full probability densities is a difficult task. In this letter we ask whether there is an effective way to elicit beliefs as distributions in the context of (online) surveys? Relying on experimental evidence, we evaluate the performance of five different elicitation methods designed to capture citizens’ uncertain expectations. Our results suggest that an elicitation method originally proposed by Manski (2009) performs well. It reliably measures the subjective belief distribution of average citizens and is easily implemented in the context of regular (online) surveys. We expect that a wider use of this method will lead to considerable improvements in the study of citizens’ expectations and beliefs.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Event End Date:24 June 2017
Deposited On:15 Jan 2020 09:14
Last Modified:05 Jun 2022 07:04
Publisher:EPSA
Additional Information:7th Annual General Conference of the European Political Science Association Milan, Italy 22-24 June 2017
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/pan.2020.42
Related URLs:https://www.epsanet.org/conference-2017/ (Organisation)

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