Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Jim Petersen

Second Advisor

Dr. Sue Crull

Third Advisor

Dr. Tom VanValey

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The question of how best to handle "don't know" responses continues to be a troublesome problem to survey researchers. There are no guidelines for handling "don't know" responses because little systematic investigation for the problem has been made. This research addresses the characteristics of those who answer "don't know" in social surveys. I am focusing on four independent variables, sex, age, income, and education. Included in this research will also be an independent variable of interviewer gender. The fact that most survey research does not record the sex of the interviewer has caused this research to be somewhat limited. I plan to discover the different characteristics of those who answer "don't know" and "neutral" and also look at any effects interviewer gender may have on the respondents answering "don't know."

Included in

Sociology Commons