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Background: Where I used to work fellow researchers used to have a task known as the CV task. The task required participants to answer a number of questions about a set of CVs (e.g., is this a good job applicant, rate various features of the applicant). A set of CVs was generated based on a factorial design. Thus, features of the CV were manipulated such as gender (male vs female) and other characteristics of the applicant.

I'm currently supervising a student where the student is doing a vignette based study (nothing to do with CVs). I realised that I have a lot of implicit ideas about how to design a vignette-based study. However, it would be nice to be able to refer such students to a resource which outlines best practice in vignette design. Relevant issues might include

  • How many factors to manipulate and how many levels to include
  • How to write vignettes in terms of length, creating variability and authenticity
  • Whether to randomise other elements across the vignettes
  • How to pilot test vignettes
  • How to choose questions to accompany each vignette
  • and so on


  • What is a good resource on designing vignette based study?
  • Or alternatively what are a good set of suggestions for writing a vignette based study?
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