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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Instructing Web and Telephone Respondents to Report Date Answers in Format Desired by the Surveyor
Year 2005
Access date 18.07.2007

We utilize and apply visual design theory to experimentally test ways to improve the likelihood that web respondents report date answers in a particular format desired by the researcher, thus reducing possible deleterious effects of error messages or requests for corrections. In addition, we compare the effects of verbal language changes in the query for both web and telephone respondents. These experiments were embedded in a series of surveys, conducted by web and telephone, of random samples of university students. We seek to examine the sequential and cumulative effects of visually manipulating the size and proximity of the answer spaces, the use of symbols instead of words, and the graphical location of the symbolic instruction. Our results show that the successive series of visual language manipulations improve respondents’ use of the desired format (2 digits for the month and 4 digits for the year) from 45% to 95%. We also find that verbal language changes in the query have powerful effects on the telephone survey but have virtually no effect on the web where respondents are provided additional symbolic and graphical information located with the answer spaces. These results suggest that writing effective questions for web surveys may depend as much or more on the presentation of the answer categories/spaces as the question wording itself.

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Year of publication2005
Bibliographic typeReports, seminars
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