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Title From paper to pixels: A comparison of paper and computer formats in psychological assessment
Source Computers in Human Behaviour, 25, 1, pp. 1-7
Year 2008
Database ScienceDirect
Access date 18.11.2008

Internet based data collection methods have many advantages for psychological assessment when compared with more traditional paper formats, including, reduced costs, and greater convenience for both the researcher and the participant. However, prior to the wide-spread adoption of these methods, equivalence with paper tests formats must be established. The present study compared questionnaire data from the computer with that from a traditional paper format in a sample of college students both directly and through an opinion survey. Three types of questionnaires that represent distinct areas commonly assessed in psychological research included: quality of life (SF-36), depression (BDI-II) and personality (NEO). A within-subjects design counterbalanced order across the computer and paper formats. Overall the findings showed no differences for the Neuroticism and Extraversion facts of the NEO, for the BDI and for the subscales and composite scores of the SF-36. Significant differences were found between the paper and computer formats for the Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness facets of the NEO. Additionally, the computer was perceived to be convenient, user-friendly, comfortable, and secure. Results suggest that a computerized format is an efficient way to conduct quality of life research, especially for the assessment of distress levels and quality of life.

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Year of publication2008
Bibliographic typeJournal article
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