Proposal for the ANES 2016 Pilot Study: Improved measurement of feeling thermometer questions

Research questions and motivations

The feeling thermometer is a unique question type that is frequently used in general population surveys and political polls to measure respondents’ feelings toward a certain object, such as a political party or a politician. The feeling thermometer questions have traditionally been included in the ANES time series studies. It uses a 101-point rating scale, where 0 indicates very cold and unfavorable feeling while 100 indicates very warm and favorable feeling. The belief that one’s feelings can affect one’s behaviors, like voting, has contributed to the popularity of this question type (Buell & Sigelman, 1985; Greene, 1999, 2004; Kaid, Leland, & Whitney, 1992; Lauderdale, 2010; McAdams & Johannes, 1988).

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