Sensitive Topics

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This article provides guidance for how to collect data on sensitive topics.

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For certain topics, respondents will have incentives to conceal the truth, due to taboos, social pressure, fear of retaliation, etc. This can create bias, the size and direction of which can be hard to predict. To avoid this, it is essential to guarantee anonymity / confidentiality, and to develop Survey Protocols to guarantee privacy and maximize trust. If this is not sufficient, experimental methods such as Randomized Response Technique, List Experiments and Endorsement Experiments can be used.