Loosveldt, Geert; Carton, Ann
December 2002
International Journal of Public Opinion Research;Winter2002, Vol. 14 Issue 4, p428
Academic Journal
This article studies the utilitarian individualism as a relevant social psychological characteristic of survey participation models. The survey-taking climate, neighborhood characteristics, political, economic, and social factors are considered to be relevant aspects of the social context or environment in models of survey participation. The general idea is that social disorganization and the lack of social cohesion at the community level, have a negative impact on survey participation. Utilitarian individualism involves striving for personal interests and success with little account being taken of others. The concept is closely related to the notion of self-interest and can be considered to be opposite of the notion of civic duty. The findings of the survey conducted, suggest that during the introduction of a survey interview one must emphasize how participation in a survey interview directly impacts--either immediately or in the future on the self-interest of the respondents. The concept of utilitarian individualism makes the general concept of the survey-taking climate more specific at the respondent level.


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