My article reanalyzing data on a gender gap in citations to international relations articles indicated that the gender gap is largely confined to elite articles, defined as articles in the right tail of citation counts or articles in the top three political science journals. That article concerned an aggregate gender gap in citations, but this post is about a particular woman who has been under-cited in the social science literature.
It is not uncommon to read a list experiment study that suggests or states that the list experiment originated in the research described in the Kuklinski, Cobb, and Gilens 1997 article, "Racial Attitudes and the New South." For example, from Heerwig and McCabe 2009 (p. 678):
Pioneered by Kuklinski, Cobb, and Gilens (1997) to measure social desirability bias in reporting racial attitudes in the "New South," the list experiment is an increasingly popular methodological tool for measuring social desirability bias in self-reported attitudes and behaviors.
Kuklinski et al. described a list experiment that was placed on the 1991 National Race and Politics Survey. Kuklinski and colleagues appeared to propose the list experiment as a new measure (p. 327):
We offer as our version of an unobtrusive measure the list experiment. Imagine a representative sample of a general population divided randomly in two. One half are presented with a list of three items and asked to say how many of these items make them angry — not which specific items make them angry, just how many. The other half receive the same list plus an additional item about race and are also asked to indicate the number of items that make them angry. [screen shot]
The initial draft of my list experiment article reflected the belief that the list experiment originated with Kuklinski et al., but I then learned [*] of Judith Droitcour Miller's 1984 dissertation, which contained this passage:
The new item-count/paired lists technique is designed to avoid the pitfalls encountered by previous indirect estimation methods. Briefly, respondents are shown a list of four or five behavior categories (the specific number is arbitrary) and are then asked to report how many of these behaviors they have engaged in — not which categories apply to them. Nothing else is required of respondents or interviewers. Unbiased estimation is possible because two slightly different list forms (paired lists) are administered to two separate subsamples of respondents, which have been randomly selected in advance by the investigator. The two list forms differ only in that the deviant behavior item is included on one list, but omitted from the other. Once the alternate forms have been administered to the two randomly equivalent subsamples, an estimate of deviant behavior prevalence can be derived from the difference between the average list scores. [screen shot]
The above passage was drawn from pages 3 and 4 of Judith Droitcour Miller's 1984 dissertation at the George Washington University, "A New Survey Technique for Studying Deviant Behavior." [Here is another description of the method, in a passage from the 2004 edition of the 1991 book, Measurement Errors in Surveys (p. 88)]
It's possible that James Kuklinski independently invented the list experiment, but descriptions of the list experiment's origin should nonetheless cite Judith Droitcour Miller's 1984 dissertation as a prior — if not the first [**] — example of the procedure known as the list experiment.
[*] I think it was the Adam Glynn manuscript described below through which I learned of Miller's dissertation.
[**] An Adam Glynn manuscript discussed the list experiment and item count method as special cases of aggregated response techniques. Glynn referenced a 1979 Raghavarao and Federer article, and that article referenced a 1974 Smith et al. manuscript that used a similar block total response procedure. The non-randomized version of the procedure split seven questions into groups of three, as illustrated in one of the questionnaires below. The procedure's unobtrusiveness derived from a researcher's inability in most cases to determine which responses a respondent had selected: for example, Yes-No-Yes produces the same total as No-No-No (5 in each case).
The questionnaire for the randomized version of the block total response procedure listed all seven questions; the respondent then drew a number and gave a total response for only those three questions that were associated with the number that was drawn: for example, if the respondent drew a 4, then the respondent gave a total for their responses to questions 4, 5, and 7. This procedure is similar to the list experiment, but the list experiment is simpler and more efficient.