Type of Content: News
Resource Title: Is Work and Aging Research a Science of Questionnaires? Moving the Field Forward by Considering Perceived Versus Actual Behaviors
Publication Title: Work, Aging and Retirement (6)2; 65-70
Publish Date: April 2020
Research on work and aging predominantly relies on self-report data to create new insights relevant to individuals, organizations, and society. Whereas surveys and interviews based on self-reports offer a valuable inward-directed perspective on individuals and their understanding of others, they can only provide limited knowledge on the behaviors of employees at different ages and in age-diverse settings. This is because what employees actually do is often considerably different from their survey-based reports of what they or others do. In this commentary, we challenge the field to move beyond a science of questionnaires by complementing survey research with behavioral data. First, this would allow scholars to identify when and how behaviors accurately translate into surveyed perceptions of behaviors. Second, such an approach can advance our understanding of the micro-dynamics occurring in age-diverse workforces that ultimately manifest in emerging phenomena (e.g., age-inclusive climate, psychological safety perceptions, or group affective tone). Lastly, studying concrete and specific behaviors also allows scholars to develop better interventions and provide meaningful recommendations for practice that differentiate actual from perceived behaviors.
Resource URL: https://bit.ly/2UrZzC2