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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Question Comprehensibility and Satisficing Behavior in Web Surveys
Year 2011
Access date 10.10.2011

Many studies found that the wording of a survey question can influence the answers that respondents provide. In particular, it has been shown that vague and ambiguous terms are often interpreted idiosyncratically by respondents, and thus can introduce a systematic bias into the survey data. In addition to ambiguity, the cognitive effort required to understand survey questions may affect data quality in a similar way. This paper examines whether the cognitive burden imposed by unclear questions reduces the quality of respondents‟ answers. An experiment was carried out in which respondents were asked to complete two Web surveys at a two-week interval. Approximately half of the respondents answered questionnaires that included unclear and less comprehensible questions, the other half received control questions that were easier to comprehend. Indicators of response quality were drop-out rates, number of non-substantive responses, number of neutral responses, and over-time consistency. As expected, respondents receiving unclear questions provided lower-quality responses than respondents answering more comprehensible questions. Moreover, some of these effects were more pronounced among respondents with limited verbal skills and among respondents with low motivation to answer surveys.

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Year of publication2011
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations