When respondents intentionally present themselves in socially desirable ways, survey researchers speak of social desirability bias (SDB) that is introduced to the data. SDB is a challenge to survey research, as it can lead to inaccurate measurements and incorrect conclusions about citizens’ behavior (Phillips & Clancy, 1972). The Item Count Technique (ICT) is a frequently used method in survey research to reduce such bias by indirectly, anonymously, and confidentially asking respondents about the sensitive behavior in question.
Thomas, K., Johann, D., Kritzinger, S., Plescia, C., & Zeglovits, E. (2017). Estimating Sensitive Behavior: The ICT and High-Incidence Electoral Behavior. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 29(1), 157–171. https://doi.org/10.1093/ijpor/edw002