To what extent can we trust surveys based on self-reports? How to deal with self-reports.

【How Many Sex Partners Have You Had? The real reason for the difference in the average number of men and women?】


・Theoretically, “in a population with no population changes due to births, deaths, migration, etc., the average number of opposite-sex sex partners should be equal for both males and females over a given period of time,” but in fact, the average number of sex partners among female respondents was 7, while the average number of sex partners among male respondents was 14. The average number of sex partners was 14 for men.

・The conclusion about the difference in the average number of sex partners is that men probably answered more, and women probably answered less.

・Perhaps men and women interpret “sex” and “partner” differently.

Respondents exaggerate or understate things to suit their own convenience, so surveys based on self-reports cannot be taken at face value.

Be especially wary of self-reported answers to questions about sex, diet, alcohol consumption, income, and other privacy issues, as these questions are most often answered incorrectly.

・Questions such as “are you right-handed or left-handed?” or “do you prefer coffee or tea?

・The “unit” counting method is usually used in sample surveys on alcohol consumption. A glass of wine (175 ml) is “2.1 units,” but users are not familiar with this unit, and when asked how much they drink in units, many respondents will answer less than the actual amount. Respondents’ level of understanding and comprehension may affect their self-reports.

・It is important to deal with self-reported surveys.


The above is a quote from the article






How to deal with self-assessment



How reliable is it?


When considered on a personal level,

For example, if someone tells you that he or she is a “00” in terms of work, love, or other private matters, how credible is that statement?

I think there are many times when we think, “They are exaggerating” or “They are pretentious.


In this way, we cannot easily believe self-reports as they are,

However, when such self-reports are gathered together into a large mass of surveys and statistics, for some reason we are inclined to believe them.


I would be especially wary of self-reports in the case of privacy questions, such as sex, food, alcohol consumption, and income, which are often answered factually incorrectly.


There are two patterns of cases in which self-reports are unreliable: cases in which the answers are consciously different from the facts, and cases in which the answers are unconsciously different from the facts.


・The pattern of consciously giving a factually incorrect answer is the self-report on privacy that I have written about so far.

・The pattern of unconsciously giving a factually incorrect answer is a pattern of not being able to grasp oneself due to a lack of understanding of the unit, etc.

I am not sure if you are asked to respond to the amount of alcohol you drink as a unit, and I think there are quite a few people who are told by their doctors to keep their diet within 00 calories, but they don’t know and end up with excessive calories. (In a way, it is tough for doctors who face patients’ self-reports. (In a sense, it is difficult for doctors to deal with patients’ self-reports, because there are cases where patients self-report that they are not eating, but in fact they are eating.)


) Once again, I think we need to think carefully about how much we can trust self-reports, both at the survey level and at the individual level.


From now on, if you see or hear a self-report (survey) about something,

First, what is the self-report about (be careful about privacy-related matters)?

(Be careful about privacy-related matters), and whether the person making the report understands and grasps the information (e.g., whether the amount of alcohol consumed is difficult to grasp).

Check these things as you face the self-report (survey).


See you then



If self-reports of the number of male and female sex partners were true, there would have to be about the same number of both sexes, but there is a significant gap between the self-reports of men and women, and if self-reports of alcohol consumption were true, it would be about the same as the amount shipped by beverage manufacturers, but it is not. These are examples that clearly show that self-reports do not equal facts.




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