Response bias errors are studied by comparing questionnaire responses from waterfowl hunters using four large public hunting areas with actual hunting data from these areas during two hunting seasons. To the extent that the data permit, the sources of the error in the responses were studied and the contribution of each type to the total error was measured. Response bias errors, including both prestige and memory bias, were found to be very large as compared to non-response and sampling errors. Good fits were obtained with the seasonal kill distribution of the actual hunting data and the negative binomial distribution and a good fit was obtained with the distribution of total season hunting activity and the semi-logarithmic curve. A comparison of the actual seasonal distributions with the questionnaire response distributions revealed that the prestige and memory bias errors are both positive. The comparisons also revealed the tendency for memory bias errors to occur at digit frequencies divisible by five and for prestige bias errors to occur at frequencies which are multiples of the legal daily bag limit. A graphical adjustment of the response distributions was carried out by developing a smooth curve from those frequency classes not included in the predictable biased frequency classes referred to above. Group averages were used in constructing the curve, as suggested by Ezekiel . The efficiency of the technique described for reducing response bias errors in hunter questionnaire responses on seasonal waterfowl kill is high in large samples. The graphical method is not as efficient in removing response bias errors in hunter questionnaire responses on seasonal hunting activity where an average of 60 percent was removed.
Additional publication details
A procedure for removing the effect of response bias errors from waterfowl hunter questionnaire responses