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Filler Christmas 2008: Formative years

Who gives me five?

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 16 December 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2950
  1. Matthias Bopp, lecturer,
  2. David Faeh, research associate
  1. 1Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Zurich, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to: M Bopp bopp{at}

    Rounding preference for self reported height depends on language, say Matthias Bopp and David Faeh

    In most surveys quantitative data is gathered with questionnaires and interviews. A comparison of such self reported data with measured equivalents shows that people systematically underestimate or overestimate frequencies (cigarettes smoked daily, age of onset, time to pregnancy) or clinical parameters (height, weight, blood pressure), which may lead to misinterpretation of the association between self reported risk factors and related outcomes.1 2 Misreporting can occur because participants intentionally or unintentionally round figures to a preferred end digit. We analysed the preference for …

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