Acquiescence describes the tendency to accept default theories in surveys regardless of their content. Put simply: Respondents have a tendency to answer ‘yes’ rather than ‘no’ on average. Therefore, the question: ‘Should there be an increase in support for the unemployed?’ will be affirmed by a majority. It is the same with the opposite question: ‘Should we dispense with higher unemployment benefits in order to reduce tax burdens on the workforce?’ In surveys, therefore, an open question format is more preferable. Here is one example: ‘Should the government spend more money on social issues right now or set it aside to tackle these issues in a more sparing manner in the future?’
Please note that the definitions in our statistics encyclopedia are simplified explanations of terms. Our goal is to make the definitions accessible for a broad audience; thus it is possible that some definitions do not adhere entirely to scientific standards.