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Melissa Knox and Jessica Jones-Smith Win PAA Poster Session on Health and Mortality

Posted: 4/15/2019 (CSDE Research)

Congratulations to CSDE Affiliates Melissa Knox, Economics Lecturer, and Jessica Jones-Smith, Health Services & Epidemiology Associate Professor, session winners for their poster titled “Social Desirability Bias and Mixed-Mode Public Opinion Surveys About Health-Related Taxation.” Knox presented their research last Thursday, April 11, at a session on Health and Mortality at the Population Association of America Annual Meeting, in Austin.

Their research looks at why polls may overestimate support for soda taxes given the recent experience of Chicago, where voters repealed the tax. One reason polls may overestimate support for soda taxes is social desirability bias in mixed mode surveys, a phenomenon where respondents are less willing to give their true opinions about socially sensitive subjects on the phone or in person than they are on the web. Knox and Jones-Smith show that response mode matters to questions about soda consumption and approval of soda taxes in a mixed mode survey of Seattle and two other cities. Consequently, they develop a method for controlling for mode effects in these surveys.

CSDE also congratulates all Affiliates, Fellows, and Trainees who presented their powerful research insights and participated in multiple sessions during PAA this year. See you in Washington, DC in 2020!