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Web Survey Bibliography

Title To Branch or Not to Branch: Item Construction in Web Surveys
Year 2007
Access date 24.05.2007

The role of question format in opinion measurement has been frequently addressed in public opinion research. One question that arises is whether to give the respondent all possible response options at once, or to give him o more limited set of responses which are then narrowed down in o subsequent question ("branching"). In the case of mall surveys, branching formats can be confusing to respondents and lead to higher levels of nonresponse because they force respondents to figure out which questions to skip and which 1o answer. As a result, nonresponse can be higher for branched survey questions than their non-branched equivalents. On the other hand, for surveys in which the question progression is directed by the interviewer, not the respondent, it has been argued that branching formats produce more reliable and stable measurements of attitudes, because respondents have an easier time making comparisons between small numbers of choices rather than large ones. Web surveys are similar to mail surveys In that the respondent is required to read the survey questions herself. However, question branching may be a beneficial technique to use in Web surveys as (1) it reduces the reading burden on the respondent and (2) Web surveys are programmed such that that the respondent does not need to determine if items need to be skipped or answered. Furthermore, by combining branching with dynamic Web instrumentation, respondents may complete surveys more quickly and with higher levels of satisfaction. To investigate the effects of branching on Web survey responses, we employ experimental data gathered by the ongoing Polimetrix omnibus survey in 2006- We examine traditional seven-point survey measures of political attitudes, such as party identification, ideology, and issue positions, along with measures of political participation. Finally, we offer suggestions about survey item construction in the growing area of Web surveys.

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Year of publication2007
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations
Full text availabilityAvailable on request

Web survey bibliography - The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) 62th Annual Conference, 2007 (48)