Allyson Holbrook, Associate Professor
Ph.D Social Psychology (2002)
Ohio State University
Public Administration (M/C 278)
Professor Allyson Holbrook’s work focuses on understanding the processes by which people’s opinions form, change over time, and influence their behavior, and on improving methods for studying these processes in surveys. Professor Holbrook is currently collaborating with other professors from the UIC Survey Research Laboratory on research projects involving four research questions. The first area of research involves methods for measuring and correcting for non-response bias. This research explores the implications of the lack of participation for survey data quality. The second area of research involves developing methods to increase the honesty of respondents’ answers to sensitive questions in surveys. Two projects in this area of research involve: 1) the effects of using indigenous interviewers to interview disadvantaged populations and 2) the use of strategies that increase participant anonymity.
Professor Holbrook’s third area of research involves exploring the cognitive process by which respondents answer survey questions and factors that affect this process. Recent projects in this area of research have involved behavior coding, in which respondents’ behaviors during an interview are used as indirect indicators of their cognitive processes. Other studies have tested the effect of question wording on answers to survey questions to gain insight into these cognitive processes. Finally, a fourth area of research with Professor Timothy Johnson, Director of the Survey Research Laboratory, deals with the relationship between culture and surveys. Increasing heterogeneity within the U.S. population and increasing globalization of research efforts make it important to be able to collect comparable survey data across cultural groups. Research in this area focuses on the effects of culture on the cognitive process of answering survey questions and optimal question wording to maximize consistent understanding and interpretation of survey questions across cultural groups.
Related Info & Links
Practical, versatile, foundational, relevant, transformational.