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"Yours is better!" Participant Response Bias in HCI

Nicola Dell, Vidya Vaidyanathan, Indrani Medhi, Edward Cutrell, and William Thies

Abstract

Although HCI researchers and practitioners frequently work with groups of people that differ significantly from themselves, little attention has been paid to the effects these differences have on the evaluation of HCI systems. Via 450 interviews in Bangalore, India, we measure participant response bias due to interviewer demand characteristics and the role of social and demographic factors in influencing that bias. We find that respondents are about 2.5x more likely to prefer a technological artifact they believe to be developed by the interviewer, even when the alternative is identical. When the interviewer is a foreign researcher requiring a translator, the bias towards the interviewer’s artifact increases to 5x. In fact, the interviewer’s artifact is preferred even when it is degraded to be obviously inferior to the alternative. We conclude that participant response bias should receive more attention within the CHI community, especially when designing for underprivileged populations.

Details

Publication typeProceedings
Published inCHI 2012: Proceedings of the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
URLhttp://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2208589
PublisherACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
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