Web Survey Bibliography
Title Length of Input Field and the Responses Provided in a Self-Administrated Survey: A Comparison of a Paper&Pencil and a Web Survey
Access date 22.05.2004
Abstract It belongs to the common wisdom of survey methodology that respondents react to the question wording of a particular item when searching a response. In addition, respondents also react to other more formal aspect of the presentation of an item, e.g. question order, response order, numbers and symbols associated with the response categories etc. In this experiment we tested the length of an input field for numeric information as an independent variable. In a previous experiment in web survey conducted by Couper it was found that longer input fields lead to more instances where the respondent provides ranges or estimates of the correct answer. This lead to the more general hypotheses that longer input fields or lines/boxes for the responses reveal more extensive information. The more space is provided by the designer of the questionnaire the more the respondent assumes that extensive information is expected by the researcher. In a self-administrated survey on right wing attitudes among Germany high school students (n=5,042) two versions of the same questionnaire were used. The versions were randomly assigned to the respondents. In one version each input field or line/box had twice the size compared to the other version. In addition both versions were administrated on paper as well as on the Internet. The resulting 2x2 design allows a detailed assessment of the effect of long vs. short response boxes or input fields. In Addition, data is available for a comparisons of a paper&pencil and a web questionnaire in terms of that particular effect. During the course of the questionnaire 6 items were included in the experiment. The items differ in the degree of salience of the response (very low to very high). The results indicate that respondent react to the length of the input field or the line/box when the response is not readily stored in their minds. When respondents need to guess or estimate the response they use different strategies to indicate the week status of their response: (1) they use ranges instead of a single value (’between 10 and 20’), (2) they qualify their response as an estimate (e.g. ’about 10’, ’˜10’), (3) they provide responses that are easily detected as estimates (bunching/hyping). In addition, respondents provide lots a additional information associated with the response that. E.g., when asked how long it took to answer the questionnaire a respondent might answer ’45 minutes, it was an awful long and boring questionnaire’. From our results we can draw the conclusion that longer input fields induce more ranges, more estimates and more additional information. Furthermore, with longer input fields or lines/boxes we have in decrease in the amount of bunching/hyping. In summary, the results suggest that respondents use different strategies when dealing with uncertaincy: long input fields and lines/boxes lead to more ’ranges’ and ’explicit estimates’, short input fields and lines/boxes show more hyping and bunching. This is especially true for items where the respondent needs to guess the correct answer. The comparison of the paper&pencil and the web questionnaire indicates that this effect shows up differently in a web environment. In a computer assisted situation respondents use far less ’ranges’, ’explicit estimates’, and provides less ’additional information’. On the other hand bunching/hyping seems to be the same or slightly higher. From a researchers point of view both approaches (long an short version) have different trade-offs: confronted with long fields and lines/boxes respondents qualify their response as an estimate. As a result more editing is necessary. Short input fields and lines/boxes on the other hand lead to less explicit estimates and show more hyping/bunching. This requires less data editing but leads to a situation where a researcher takes a response for granted were he or she should be more careful.
Access/Direct link Homepage - conference (abstract)
Year of publication2001
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations
Web Survey Bibliography - 2001 (349)
- Eye-Movement Analysis: A New Tool for Evaluating the Design of Visually Administered Instruments (Paper...; 2001; Redline, C. D., Lankford, C. P.
- First Things First: Internet Relay Chat Openings; 2001; Rintel, E. S., Mulholland, J., Pittam, J.
- ThinkStream: A New Paradigm for Web Site Measurement; 2001; Rolph, J.
- e-Research: Gold Mine or Land Mine?; 2001; Nuffer, K. G.
- Mode And Incentive Effects On Aspects Of Survey Administration And Data Quality; 2001; O’Brien, J. E., Levin, K., Hagerty, T., Greenlees, J. B., Saxon-Harrold, S. K. E., Kirsch, A....
- Analysis of Internet Users' Level of Online Privacy Concerns; 2001; O'Neil, D.
- Is The Internet The Future Of Market Research In Europe?; 2001; Oxley, M.
- Electronic Weak Ties in Network Organizations; 2001; Papakyriazis, N. V., Boudourides, M. A.
- Dimensions of Internet Science; 2001; Reips, U. -D., Bosnjak, M.
- Improving Survey Research on the World-Wide Web Using the Randomized Response Technique; 2001; Musch, J., Broder, A., Klauer, K. C.
- International Perspective: Using The Internet To Better Manage Major Surveys; 2001; MacNeill, R., Risk, R.
- How to recruit and retain respondents suitable for online research; 2001; Manolopoulos, P.
- Comparing On-Line Methodologies To Determine Data Impact; 2001; Masker, P.
- Conducting Web-based Surveys with Known Populations: Lessons Learned and Keys to Success; 2001; McGee, C. G., Straight, R. L., Schwartz, L.
- Using Both Online and Traditional Data Collection in the Same Research Project; 2001; McInerney, J.
- Participation in Non-Restricted Web Surveys: A Typology and Explanatory Model for Item-Nonresponse; 2001; Bosnjak, M.
- Survival of the Fittest Online: A Longitudinal Study of Health-Related Web Sites; 2001; McMillan, S. J.
- Using the Internet for Data Collection – Just Because We Can, Should We?; 2001; McNeish, J.
- Towards better integration of Internet in Statistics - a challenge for R & D; 2001; Meliskova, J.
- Designing and managing internet panels: lessons from the USA and Europe; 2001; Milsom, P., Manolopoulos, P.
- From Cyber Space to Cybernetic Space: Rethinking the Relationship between Real and Virtual Spaces; 2001; Mitra, A., Schwartz, R. L.
- Statement about Internet Polls; 2001; NCPP Polling Review Board
- The Effect of Motivational Messaging on Mode Choice and Response Rates in the Library Media Center Survey...; 2001; Marquis, K., Hoffman, R., Nichols, E. M.
- Time-diary Measurement on the Internet: An National Experiment; 2001; Nie, N., Robinson, J. P.
- Financial Incentives, Personal Information and Drop-Out in Online Studies; 2001; Frick, A., Bachtiger, M. T., Reips, U. -D.
- Drop-Out Analysis: Effects of Research Design; 2001; Knapp, F., Heidingsfelder, M.
- Conducting Web-Based Surveys; 2001; Solomon, D. J.
- Survey Nonresponse; 2001; Groves, R. M., Dillman, D. A., Eltinge, J. L., A.
- Classifying Response Behaviors in Web-based Surveys; 2001; Bosnjak, M., Tuten, T. L.
- Response Consistency in an Internet-enabled Panel; 2001; Lazaroff, S., Kenyon, K.
- Internet Marketing Research: Theory and Practice; 2001; Lee, O.
- Conducting Customer Satisfaction Surveys Online; 2001; Lehtonen, D.
- Mail, Email and Web Surveys: A Cost and Response Rate Comparison in a Study of Undergraduate Research...; 2001; Lesser, V. M., Newton, L.
- Clarifying Question Meaning In A Web-Based Survey; 2001; Lind, L. H., Schober, M. F., Conrad, F. G.
- Assessing customer satisfaction: How valid are the answers?; 2001; Lopata, R.
- Validity Issues in Web Derived Survey Data; 2001; Liu, K., Rosen, R. J., Stewart, E.
- Web survey errors; 2001; Lozar Manfreda, K.
- Methodological variables in Web-based research that may affect results: Sample type, monetary...; 2001; O'Neil, K. M., Penrod, S. D.
- Experiments On Visual Effects in Web Surveys; 2001; Kenyon, K., Tourangeau, R., Couper, M. P.
- Web Surveys: How Does The Software Work?; 2001; Kottler, R. E.
- Web-Based Surveys for a Nationally Representative Sample; 2001; Huggins, V. J., Krotki, K.
- An Empirical Portrait of the Yale New Media Workshop and MSNBC Internet Decision 2000 Survey; 2001; Lapinski, J.
- eResearch: New dogs, old tricks?; 2001; Hennebry, P., Barlow, S.
- What Can You Achieve Through Online Focus Groups?; 2001; Herbert, M.
- Drop-down, radio button, or fill-in-the-blank? Effects of attribute rating scale type on web survey...; 2001; Hogg, A., Jarrett Masztal, J.
- Emerging Technology And The Implications For Online Market Research; 2001; Hodson, M.
- How to evaluate the efficacy of online advertising; 2001; Hummerston, A.
- Seeking explanation in theory: Reflections on the social practices of organizations that distribute...; 2001; Robbin, A., Koball, H.
- Online Market Research Vs Traditional Methodologies; 2001; Hunter, J. E.
- Improving the capabilities of survey software for data collection; 2001; Jeon, J.