The Longitudinal Item Count Technique: a new technique for asking sensitive questions in surveys

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Understanding Society Working Paper Series


Alessandra Gaia

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The Item Count Technique is used to improve measurement of sensitive topics, reducing social desirability bias. I propose a variation of the Item Count Technique: the Longitudinal Item Count Technique (LICT). I describe the features of this innovative technique and the underlying assumptions, I provide guidance on its implementation, discuss its limitations, and the ethical implications associated with it. Furthermore, I present an empirical application of the method estimating the prevalence of the gay, lesbian, and bisexual population in the United Kingdom.  


Social Groups and Survey Methodology

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