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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Minimizing Respondent Effort increases Use of Definitions in Web Surveys
Year 2007
Access date 28.05.2007

Accurate survey data requires respondents interpret survey questions as intended by researchers. In interviewer-administered surveys allowing the interviewer correct misunderstanding can improve response accuracy feed. Schober, Conrad, and Fricker, 2004). in contrast, It is hard to clarify misconceptions in self-administered questionnaires. In the current study, we examine clarification in web questionnaires, a self-administered mode in which it is possible to request clarification (definitions) much as in interviews. The main question is whether respondents will use the clarification that is available. Previous experiments have shown that making definitions easier to obtain increases their use (Conrad, Couper, Tourangeau, and Peytchev, 2006). In the current study we vary ease of access (definitions ore either always displayed or require a mouse roll-over), awareness that definitions are useful (some respondents answer prior 'training' questions which demonstrates the likelihood of confusion without a definition), and the length of the definition (long and short definitions). We hypothesized that respondents would use definitions more when always displayed than when they must be requested because eye movements involve less effort thon mouse movements. We tested this and other hypotheses examining answers, response times, and break-offs, in a web survey with about 3,000 respondents. Definitions that were always displayed were used more based on the time to complete the questions and the effect on responses, suggesting that an interactive questionnaire may deter use of definitions because it involves extra respondent actions. In addition, definitions which were always displayed led to faster responses, suggesting they may be read less completely. Contrary to our expectations, prior training questions decreased the use of definitions, suggesting that respondents may value minimal effort (not reading definitions) over Improved understanding (reading definitions). We close by discussing implications for the design of web surveys that promote accurate question understanding.

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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)