Household Food Waste - Cognitive testing of revised behavioural metric questions

Start date:
July 2010
September 2010

The Love Food Hate Waste (LFHW) tracker survey is an invaluable component of the evidence base on public attitudes and behaviours towards household food waste, and a crucial tool for estimating the impact of the Love Food Hate Waste campaign.

WRAP commissioned Brook Lyndhurst to assess the reliability and validity of new LFHW survey questions, via cognitive testing, to ensure that they provide a sound, robust and valid dataset for tracking behaviours related to food waste (around planning, storing and consuming food).

In order to do test these questions we devised a topic guide that allowed us to explore the following elements of how participants answer each question:

• understanding and interpretation of the question;
• ability to recall information needed to answer the questions;
• judgements involved in deciding on an answer; and
• use of response categories to answer the question.

Cognitive testing techniques that we applied included thinking aloud (or verbalisation of respondent thought processes) and paraphrasing (‘translating’ questions into their own words). We alternated the pattern of questioning so that some were probed concurrently (i.e. during the respondent’s answer process) and some were probed retrospectively (i.e. after the respondent had answered). We did this in order to minimise the impact of the interviewer on the findings, help reduce the extent to which interviewees were ‘primed’ between questions and also to ensure that the same ‘types’ of question were probed in different ways to fully explore their comparative merits.

We conducted 20 interviews in total, four in each of five locations. The sample represented a good spread of background characteristics, including age, socio-economic group, household composition, employment status, and gender.

Unpublished - Output from our analysis was used by WRAP to inform development of the final question set. 

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