When respondents intentionally present themselves in socially desirable ways, survey researchers speak of social desirability bias (SDB) that is introduced to the data. SDB is a challenge to survey research, as it can lead to inaccurate measurements and incorrect conclusions about citizens’ behavior (Phillips & Clancy, 1972). The Item Count Technique (ICT) is a frequently used method in survey research to reduce such bias by indirectly, anonymously, and confidentially asking respondents about the sensitive behavior in question.
This work is supported by the Austrian National Election Study, a National Research Network sponsored by the Austrian Science Fund (S10902-G11).
The authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback and Graeme Blair and Kosuke Imai for their helpful support.